16 Apr Spring Lawn Care Tips
Most of the northern U.S. homeowners are getting anxious this “spring” but as temperatures are starting to climb there are a few important spring lawn care tips to remember before you hop on the mower.
Timing is everything.
One common mistake most homeowners make is to start mowing as soon as the first warm day appears. Allow your lawn to really wake up for the year before mowing for the first time; which means a majority of the yard should resemble a bright green. If there is still light brown grass mixed throughout the yard, this is usually not dead grass. The grass is still in dormancy or “sleeping.” Once the dormant grass has turned green, you are safe to mow.
Consider the thatch.
Thatch is the layer of dead grass, leaves and other natural material which lies between the soil and the green growth of grass. It is great for the health of both the live grass and the soil because it can provide moisture retention and compaction prevention. Thatch becomes an issue when the layer grows to be close to an inch thick. This layer can be removed or thinned out by manually raking throughout the lawn or renting equipment, such as a dethatcher which is also known as a power rake or vertical cutter. These can usually be rented at your local home improvement store.
Doctor-up your thin and bare spots.
Be on the lookout for thin or bare spots while investigating the lawn for thatch. For bare spots, seed the areas with the recommended rate and be sure to water these spots every day for 1-2 weeks. Do not mow the these areas until the grass has filled out and reached at least the same height as the existing lawn. Aeration is also an effective way of dethatching your lawn without creating bare spots where thatch is too thick. This will sporadically pull plugs of thatch and soil 2-3 inches deep, allowing for oxygen, moisture and fertilizer to enter the ground easily, as well as breaking up compaction for grass roots to grow deeper.
To strengthen the grass roots, allow the lawn to grow a little longer than normal and do not cut your grass too low, especially for newly seeded grass. Taller grass will sink deeper roots, making it easier for the grass to search for moisture when it needs it and creating a natural barrier to prevent weeds from peeking through.
Fertilizing for long-term health.
Many homeowners are unaware of the fact that their grass needs food just as humans do. Moreover, your lawn needs a multitude of nutrients in addition to the N-P-K found in the standard lawn fertilizers. A complete balance of nutrients, including secondary and micro-nutrients is key to soil health. The soil acts as the plants’ stomach, so providing these nutrients is essential to creating healthy and long-lasting, green grass. Unlike most commercial fertilizers, HyR BRIX® Lawn Fertilizer provides several secondary and micro-nutrients, and due to the balance of nutrients and natural, slow-release materials, homeowners only need to apply it once a season!
While we understand that some weeds are too hardy and pesky to remove without a weed killer, we continue to remind homeowners that the easiest and most natural way to prevent weeds is through creating a natural barrier of thick and healthy grass roots. By following the steps outlined above, the balance of nutrients and deep grass roots will provide a natural suffocation to threatening weeds.