6 Landscaping Tips For Preparing Your Lawn For Spring
Spring is right around the corner, and that means it’s time to put the snow shovels and snowblower away and dust off your lawn mower and gardening tools. As the weather begins to warm up your lawn will slowly begin to wake from its winter slumber and come back to life. But before you jump into your landscaping, there are a few things you should do to make sure your lawn stays healthy and green.
Clean Up Your Lawn
Even if you raked up every leaf that fell in the fall, you’ll still need to clean up your lawn. The best way to do this is with a rake and try to get as much thatch up as possible. Thatch is made up of different types of plant matter that doesn’t decompose and creates a layer over the soil. This prevents water, air, and vital nutrients from getting into the soil to keep your grass healthy.
Further, it’s inevitable that some grass will die over the winter, especially if you get moderate to heavy snowfall. Raking up this dead grass will not only make your lawn look a little better but will also help prevent the formation of thatch.
Finally, some parts of the lawn might be matted down. Rake over that area of the lawn so that the blades are sticking up again, otherwise, your mower won’t cut that patch and you risk the grass dying. You might need to rake a few times, especially if the grass in that particular area has been matted a few times. Make sure you do this before you mow your lawn for the first time.
Weed Killer And Fertilizer
Even though you might not see a lot of weeds this time of year, they’re lurking in your lawn, waiting to come out. To prevent these weeds from growing use a pre-emergent herbicide. This will prevent weed seeds from germinating in the first place. These types of weed killers last about three months and will need to be re-applied during the summer months to keep your lawn looking good.
Fertilizing your lawn in the spring will give your grass a healthy boost. But don’t just buy a random fertilizer from your gardening store. Look for a slow-release fertilizer that will feed your grass nutrients over time. Before buying fertilizer, do some research to find the best kind to use for your region and grass type. It might be more work up front but will pay off when you have the best-looking lawn in the neighborhood.
Cover Your Bare Spots
Bare spots happen. For whatever reason, the grass in certain areas dies and you end up with a spot of either dead grass or bare dirt. If you don’t already have grass seed, make sure you buy the right type of seed for your region and preferably the same type of grass that’s already in your yard. Before you start throwing seed down, soften up the dirt. You can do this with a shovel or even a rake with hard forks. You can also mix in some compost to add vital nutrients to the soil. After seeding the bare spots, follow the directions for the type of seeds you’re growing and keep those areas properly watered. Finally, wait until the bare spots are fully grown in before you start mowing over them.
If you’re going to use mulch as part of your yard landscaping, wait until the weather is warm enough so the ground is completely thawed out. This might require that you wait until later in spring to apply your mulch. Before you start mulching your yard, get rid of weeds in all the areas you plan to apply mulch. Start with a thin layer because it’s easy to add more mulch as needed.
When buying mulch, keep in mind the types of plants and trees the mulch will be around. Some plants do well with mulch, others don’t. And if the mulch goes too far up a tree trunk it might kill the try by preventing vital nutrients and light from getting through.
Your First Mow Of The Year
Your lawn mower is tuned up, filled with grass, and ready to go. Should you just start cutting? Not so fast. First, ensure your grass is at least two inches long. If it’s any shorter, you risk damaging your lawn and killing your grass. Once your grass is the proper length, you’re ready to fire up your mower. Make sure you set the mowing height as high as it will go because if initially cut it too short, you risk damaging your lawn.
Landscaping Is An Ongoing Project
Spring is just the beginning of lawn season. Once your grass is growing and healthy you’ll need to maintain it by mowing regularly and applying fertilizer. A little work can go a long way.