Spring is right around the corner (in fact, the first day of spring is March 20), which means that it’s time for spring cleaning. It’s time to tidy up the house and time to sweep out all the dust and cobwebs that collect during winter. That also means it’s time to breathe life back into your lawn. Over the winter months, your lawn lays dormant, waiting for warmth and sunshine to thrive once again. So when temperatures do take an upturn, how do you prepare your lawn for the coming year? Here at Prestige Lawncare, we know how to revitalize your grass. Here are our tips to turn your yard into the talk of the town this spring:
Prepare Your Sprinkler System
Did you blow out your sprinklers and shut off your sprinkler system over the winter? Well, it’s time to turn the pressure back on again, and it’s time to make sure that your sprinkler system’s automated timer is set properly (if you have an automated system, of course). Your lawn should receive about an inch of water per week (including the rain we get here in North Carolina). If you’re seeing dry, brown patches that look sunburnt, you should increase your watering schedule. Or, if you notice that your lawn has standing water, brown and dying grass, or fungus and mushrooms growing in it, you ought to scale back your watering schedule. It’s best to water your lawn early in the morning in order to give your grass plenty of time to soak up moisture before the heat of the day.
Get Rid of Old Thatch
Don’t know what thatch is? It’s all that organic material that can accumulate and suffocate your grass. Between old leaves, previously cut grass, twigs, and mulch that has blown into your yard, new grass blades might be struggling to push through that thatch to reach the surface. If that’s the case, it’s time to pull out the rake and get to work. Use your rake to pull up any thatch material that has been compressed into your yard over winter. You’ll give new grass blades better access to the sun and carbon dioxide they need to photosynthesize and grow. Plus, you can take all that old thatch and start a compost heap for the coming growing season!
Test Your Soil
Your soil provides nutrients to your grass, and it has a delicate balance of ingredients that are necessary for a lush lawn. It is wise to test your soil to ensure that it is pH balanced. Lawn soil should be between five and seven on the pH scale (which means that the soil is slightly acidic). If you have soil that is outside of this range, you should apply a sulfate based fertilizer (for a high pH level) or a lime based fertilizer (for a low pH level) to bring balance back to your yard. Be sure to follow the guidelines on these products, since it is easy to create an imbalance that can wreak havoc on your lawn. If you are adding a pH balancer to your yard, be sure that it is spread very evenly to give the entire surface the perfect balance. You should also retest your soil a month after you add sulfate or lime, to see if your soil is balanced — if not, you can apply another spread of balancing fertilizer.
Over the winter months, your grass lays dormant, and the soil around its roots compacts. That means the roots of your grass blades may be suffocating, and they may not be receiving the nutrients they need to thrive. Aerating your lawn brings carbon dioxide to grass roots, and it mixes the soil a bit, which provides a better mixture of nutrients for those roots. We recommend that you aerate your lawn twice per year to keep it lush — once in the spring, and once in the fall. You can fertilize your lawn before you aerate to make sure the fertilizer penetrates the surface of your soil.
Fertilizer is key to a thick, green lawn. Find a grass fertilizer that is specifically designed to improve your yard’s health. These fertilizers contain nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium, which are necessary for grass growth. A bag containing 20 percent nitrogen, 5 percent phosphate, and 10 percent potassium tends to be a great spring fertilizer to give your lawn a head start for the year (by the way, the rest of the stuff in these fertilizers is usually filler, which is designed to help evenly spread the fertilizer).
Pluck Those Weeds
If you had a weed problem last year, this spring is the perfect time to get ahead of this year’s weeds — after all, a stitch in time saves nine. Pull all of the weeds in your yard to ensure that they don’t reproduce and spread. You can use a chemical treatment to zap weeds, but be wary, these treatments can be harsh for your lawn, even those that are designed to keep grass alive. If you’re opting for a chemical treatment, use a weed and feed product, instead of a weed killer, and wait until late spring to make sure that your grass is well established.
Reseed Your Grass
If you don’t have an especially thick carpet of grass, it’s a good idea to reseed in the spring. Buy a bag full of seed (make sure it’s the same kind as your lawn), and spread it evenly over the surface of your yard to add a bit of extra density to your yard. Add extra seed to the more barren parts of your lawn. You can also seed your lawn in late fall, so that the seeds naturally bury themselves and germinate the following spring.
Seed or Sod Bare Spots
If you have splotches of bare soil throughout your yard, spring is the time to add seed or sod. But, before you do anything, it’s best to prepare the soil. Test your soil, make sure it is pH balanced, and add fertilizer. Then, add your seed or sod — make sure you use the right seed to match the rest of your lawn, and be sure to care for freshly planted sod properly (it requires special care during the first few months of its new life in your lawn).
It’s time to get back into that mowing routine. Mow your lawn regularly to keep its height uniform. A uniform height ensures that all of your blades of grass get plenty of sunlight and air. Plus, a mowed lawn just looks great. Mow your lawn once a week, or at least twice per month to ensure that it remains uniform throughout the year, or, if you prefer, you can always count on the lawn care experts here at Prestige Lawncare to maintain your lawn for you!
Count on Prestige Lawncare
Here at Prestige Lawncare, it’s our goal to make your lawn look its best throughout the warm seasons. Count on us to give your lawn the full treatment, from aeration to leaf removal to mowing. Get in touch with our lawn care team to get started. We work with folks throughout Asheboro, Greensboro, High Point, and the surrounding area.