Spring Lawn Maintenance Tips
March is the month to think about prepping your lawn for the warm months ahead. Depending on your climate, the timing of spring lawn care will vary. Even if snow remains on the ground where you live, it’s not too early to think about grass care.
Redistribute lingering snow
If you still have snow in March and the ground is frozen, you can’t begin spring yard care until the snow melts and the ground is completely dry. Because it takes longer to melt in shady areas, snow molds can form as a result. Hasten snow melt by redistributing lingering piles of snow using a rake.
Aerate your lawn
If you missed aerating cool season grasses (such as fescues) last fall, spring offers you a second chance. Aerating removes plugs of grass and dirt and promotes healthy lawn growth by improving air, nutrient and water retention. This grass care maintenance should be done before you apply any pre-emergent weed control.
The only way you can help prevent nasty weeds from popping up all over your lawn is to apply a pre-emergent weed killer. Aggressive weeds that germinate in the fall, such as chickweed, can be controlled with herbicides. Be careful and follow the directions on any chemical lawn care products.
Fertilizer application in spring helps fuel your lawn and promote growth after being dormant all winter. Go easy, because too much will overly accelerate turf growth and stress new roots. If you fertilized in the fall and your grass is coming in lush and green in early spring, you probably can wait until late spring (around Memorial Day) to apply fertilizer. Sometimes a couple of light applications in spring are more effective than one heavier application.
Treat bare areas
Now is your best window of opportunity to over-seed any bare areas in your lawn. Because grass seed germinates when soil temperatures reach 50 degrees, March can be the perfect time to treat any problem areas in your lawn. Be sure to aerate the area before you apply the grass seed and starter fertilizer.
Knowing when and how short to mow your lawn is an important step in spring lawn care. It’s natural to get excited when your lawn turns green and lush in spring, but don’t get carried away and cut it too short or too often. Set the height of your mower to remove any dead grass tops, but don’t scalp it. If you do, you’ll damage the crowns, and that will ultimately hinder your goal to have the most beautiful lawn in your neighborhood.