We often get asked, “how do I prepare my lawn for spring?” Well, there’s no better time to get started than now! It’s time to wake your grass up from its New England winter slumber and revive it to its strongest state.
Did you know that a 5,000 sq ft lawn can produce enough fresh oxygen daily to sustain 14-34 people? This is one of the many reasons why having a well-maintained lawn in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and surrounding green areas is beneficial to your family and environment. There are numerous do’s and don’ts when preparing your lawn for spring, so let’s look at 5 steps you can take today to prepare your lawn for summer.
1. Lightly rake over your lawn.
After a winter with dense snow crushing your grass, a gentle rake over your turf is an effortless way to fluff it up once more. This releases any compaction that has occurred over the last several months and removes remaining leaves or debris left over from last fall. Be sure to wait until the ground has fully thawed though, or else you may tear up your healthy turf.
The safest method to fluff your lawn and prevent damage is by using a handheld wooden rake. Compared to metal rakes, it is far less likely to pull up roots and break your grass blades. A gentle approach like this will protect your lawn from any unnecessary harm.
2. Seed over small bare patches.
Sometimes even the healthiest lawns need a touch-up. While we never recommend a full seeding in the spring, small bare spots can be done if you add a layer of topsoil. This blanket of soil adds a layer of protection to your new seeds– this way, they won’t fly away in the wind or be eaten by critters. Otherwise, a full seeding is best done in the fall because the varying spring temperatures may damage new seedlings.
3. Use a fertilizer with crabgrass prevention.
Late spring is the perfect time to rejuvenate your lawn with a fertilizer application. Spring fertilizers are food for your grass that encourages it to grow fuller and faster. Even better, our own spring fertilizer contains Crabgrass Prevention so you can kill two birds with one stone.
As you go about your spring cleaning, you might notice other weeds like dandelions emerge. Don’t panic, because we always keep a close lookout and will treat weeds as soon as they spring up. Another thing to note is that while aeration is an important part of maintaining a healthy lawn, spring is not the time to do so. Aeration exposes your lawn to sunlight and allows these pesky weeds to invade. A 2-in-1 fertilizer is sufficient to boost your lawn and keep weeds at bay.
4. Mow once on a low setting, then use the ⅓ method.
When your grass is thawed and untangled by a gentle raking, it’ll probably also need a mow. Every spring, it’s a good idea to cut your grass on the shortest lawn mower setting. This way, your grass regrows low to the ground and comes back thicker.
Your grass only needs to be cut short once. If you continually cut short, it will promote weed growth and stunt your grass. After your first mow, resort to the ⅓ method: It is recommended to only trim the top one-third of the blades throughout spring and summer. This will keep your grass long without letting it run wild!
5. Take a quick soil test.
Do you really know what’s going on beneath your turf? Not all lawn care problems are visible to the naked eye. Soil tests uncover any microscopic issues that stunt your grass growth. Soil pH and nutrient deficiencies can turn a thick, green lawn limp and weak. A soil test helps you diagnose any lawn problems, so we can get to the root of the cause (no pun intended!).
Taking a soil test is simple: It just requires digging, mixing, and reading. Nearly every hardware and garden center supply take-home kits, so pick one up at your local shop. It will have all of the instructions that you need; most only require that you take several samples from your yard and shake them up with a solution. Finally, your sample will match the colors on a pH and nutrient chart, letting you know what your soil needs. MissionGreen can also provide a soil test for the low cost of $40.00.
As your lawn leaves its dormant winter state, it will need some support to reach its ultimate potential. The winter season can bring harsh weather that beats up your grass and leaves it fragile. However, now is the time to rejuvenate your lawn. These 5 steps to prepare your lawn for spring are simple yet effective, and we’re here to help along the w.
Want to learn more about what MissionGreen’s lawn care program can offer you this spring? Click to request a free estimate or call us today at (413) 998-7829.
– Victoria McNally