As spring arrives, the days get longer and the chill leaves the air
-- and that's your signal that it's time to help your
lawn transition to spring.
Spring is often thought of as a time
of new birth, and in fact, taking care
of your lawn is a lot like taking care of a baby ... you spend
hours on care, and countless dollars.
But after all, you'll
do anything for your beautiful baby. So as spring
arrives, do your yard a favor and baby it.
When your lawn wakes, feed and treat. In the winter, your lawn goes
dormant. So how do you know when your lawn wakes up? The grass
will change from brown to green and start growing again. This
growth spurt draws on the lawn's nutrient reserves of
the winter. Feeding your lawn with a slow-release fertilizer replenishes
those nutrients. Also, give your lawn a treat -- or
rather pre-treat with a pre-emergence herbicide to conquer weeds
before they start.
Check-up time. As the lawn breaks dormancy, examine it for
signs of disease and garden insects.
The faster you identify and correct problems, the less stress
on the lawn. If there is any damage, such as bare spots, now is
a good time to patch the lawn by replacing the sod and soil in
the affected areas.
a haircut. When the lawn first wakes in spring, mow at minimum height
to enhance turf density. But as it grows, keep your grass type
in mind: Different types of grass require different cutting heights.
Cool-season grasses should be cut at 3 1/2 inches, while warm-season
grasses are cut at 2 inches. St. Augustine grass does best when
cut at 3 inches. Also, check your thatch layer -- a little thatch
prevents ground compaction and holds moisture in the soil. But
if thatch is deeper than 1/2 inch, dethatch and aerate.
first! With a new lawn, you're always on the move, but
take a break to make sure your new environment is safe. After
all, the world can be a dangerous place if you aren't prepared.
So when you pull your tools out of the storage shed, make sure
they're in good working order. Replace fluids and spark plugs.
Take your lawn mower
into the dealer for an annual tune-up. And John Deere recommends
checking all safety guards and shields.
professional lawn care. If you're short on time, hire
a lawn care service. Before choosing, investigate a company's
track record by calling references or the Better Business Bureau.
Make sure the company is licensed -- most states require it. Also,
ask if the company is affiliated with a professional lawn care
association. These groups help members stay current on new lawn
care developments. And you and your professional should agree
on your lawn care goals. The company should tell you how it plans
to take care of your lawn and what you can do to help.
your lawn this spring. With a little love and care, the result
will be one beautiful baby.