There is nothing like the sense of anticipation of an end to winter months when we can look forward to getting back out into the garden. Winter months can be hard on your lawn, but there are a few things you can do to quickly regenerate it and get it ready for the summer months.
1. Aerate your lawn
Lawns can see a lot of traffic, from kids playing to the impact of your ride on mower, all of this can lead to the soil to become compacted. This results in poor air circulation, reduced water absorption, and nutrient absorption. It is also more difficult for essential earthworms to establish themselves in overly compacted soil!
Vital for a truly healthy lawn, aeration is the solution for compacted soil. How often you should aerate your lawn depends on soil type and how you use your lawn. Late spring to early summer is the right time to aerate warm-season grasses. Fall is the best time for cool-season types. But if you didn’t get to it last fall, you can tackle it in early spring. Learn the secrets behind aerating; and how to aerate properly.
2. Overseed – to expel bare and brown patches
Dark, long winter evenings can lead of bare or thin patches forming on your lawn. Fill bare or thin spots in the lawn by overseeding. Late spring is the best time to overseed warm-season grass. Fall is the ideal time for cool-season grass, but in colder regions, spot-seeding small areas in spring yields good results. When you overseed, apply a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer. Five weeks after overseeding, apply a quick-release nitrogen feed like GuanoBoost, which has the highest Nitrogen levels available, quickly adding fuel to rebuild your lawn.
Rake the area well, picking up any leaves and debris in the turf. Cast the seeds over the turf, and then spread about half an inch of compost or topsoil on the lawn. To get good seed-to-soil contact, gently rake the seeds and soil into the grass. Water the seeds in the early morning and evening until they germinate.
Learn about causes of bare spots in lawns, how to prevent them and how to treat them.
As soon as your lawn is dry enough to walk on, it is important that you give your lawn a good rakinging. Spring raking removes lingering fall leaves and grass blades that didn’t survive winter. Left alone, these dead blades add to your lawn’s thatch layer. Raking also loosens matted grass clumps caused by snow mold, which can smother new growth.
Ok, so here is what to do:
- Use a spring-tine rake with a strong upward pull to remove dead grass.
- Rake when soil isn’t soft and muddy, or you risk pulling up healthy grass crowns.
- You need to rake gently, because all you are really trying to do is to remove the dead debris on the lawn.
- Rake against the grain so that the grass stands up on edge.
“The goal is to get oxygen circulating down around the crowns of the grass plants to open them up”.
4 – Dethatch your lawn
Like other plants, grass has an underground root system topped by a green and growing above ground shoot. Thatch is a layer of a combination of some living and mostly dead roots, stem and shoot. The turfgrass researchers have concluded that when soil produces organic debris faster than it can be mangled, thatch starts to build-up.
So how do you know if your lawn needs dethatching?
If water runs off without penetrating the grass, then it may be time to dethatch the lawn. Examine your grass for an underlying layer of thatch. It will look like a matting of old, grayish-brown grass stems that have grown together.
A thin layer of thatch (½ inch or less) provides insulation against temperature extremes and fluctuations in soil moisture. However, if your lawn has more than one inch layer of thatch above the soil surface, the lawn needs to be dethatched.
Primary causes of thatch are over watering, over fertilizing and mowing too high. To help prevent thatch from forming, use a mulching mower.
Spring is the right time to dethatch turf. Aim for early spring for cool-season grasses and late spring to early summer for warm-season grasses. Learn more about dethatching.
5. Water your lawn – the correct way
It is important to continue to water your lawn during the spring.
For the ultimate guide to watering your lawn click here.
6. Weed management for your lawn
If Crabgrass is a problem in your lawn, apply pre-emergent herbicides to keep seeds that dropped last summer from germinating. Timing is critical for this application. Most product bags have application timing advice. Learn about application timing and tips for using pre-emergent herbicides.
For a guide on how to recognise if you have crabgrass watch this video here.
Once crabgrass gets started in your lawn, those coarse, unattractive weeds seem to live and spread forever. But unlike lawn weeds that do live several years, crabgrass plants only live a single year. What they do in that year, however, has long-lasting consequences for your lawn. Understanding how crabgrass works and how to break its cycle can help you get rid of crabgrass and keep it gone.
Use post-emergent broadleaf herbicides for perennial and winter annual weeds in warm-season lawns. Treat or dig perennial weeds as they start appearing in cool-season lawns or try All-In-One Weed & Feed. It kills lawn weeds like Dandelion and Clover, pulls kills Crabgrass.
For a comprehensive guide on how to treat crabgrass read this
7. Mow your lawn the correct way
One of the first things we tend to want to do in the spring is to get out the lawnmower and start mowing the lawn. But there are a number of things to consider:
- Give your spring grass a chance to develop strong, healthy roots by waiting until it’s at least 2 inches tall before starting to mow. Even then, stick to the rule of not taking off more than a third of its length so that it doesn’t die before it’s had a chance to develop.
- Start mowing when the ground is dry enough, because you don’t want to damage the lawn if it is too wet.
- Cut at the proper height for your type of grass. Avoid mowing too low. Grass cut too short allows sunlight to reach the soil, encouraging weed seeds to germinate. It also favors shallow root development, which makes the lawn more easily susceptible to drought stress. it’s a good idea to cut your grass at the tallest height recommended for your grass type, which are as follows:
- Common bermudagrass: 1-2 inches (2.5-5 centimeters)
- Fescue: 2-3.5 inches (5-9 centimeters)
- Kentucky bluegrass: 2-3.5 inches (5-9 centimeters)
- St. Augustine: 2-4 inches (5-10 centimeters)
- Zoysia: 0.5-1.5 inches (1-4 centimeters) source
If you have overseeded, make sure you give the new grass time to take hold before mowing.
Truth be told, there’s one simple secret to making the most of your lawn without a lot of hassle: regular feedings. Yep. Nourishing your lawn two to four times a year with 100% Organic GuanoBoost can turn your lawn into the proud centrepiece the entire family can enjoy.
Giving your lawn a regular feed is the quickest, most cost effective way to keep your lawn looking great.
Apply spring fertilizer roughly three weeks after grass starts greening (that usually corresponds to the time following two or three mowings). Apply too early and you risk feeding weeds and creating fertilizer runoff. Too-early applications also trigger lush blade growth at a time when roots may not have started their spring growth spurt.
We recommend using 100% organic GuanoBoost, to ensure that you are not spreading your lawn with harmful chemicals.
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