Your Yard’s Checklist for Spring
Checklist for Spring Lawn MaintenanceCongratulations, you made it! It’s Spring and there is nothing better than seeing the trees beginning to bud, the birds singing, and the first signs of your lawn coming back to life. So now is the time to get out into your yard to inspect the winter damage, and begin your early-spring lawn prep. If you have not already done spring maintenance on your lawnmower, please see our article getting your mower ready for the Spring. With the mower or lawn tractor ready to go, here is a quick and easy spring lawn maintenance checklist to follow and ensure your yard is ready for the mowing season.
Inspect Your Yard
The first step of your spring lawn care checklist is to walk your property and take note of the following. These items will help you plan the tools needed and next steps:
- Standing Water or Wet Spots
- Bare Spots in Your Lawn
- Look for areas with thatch buildup
Clean Up and Let Your Yard Breathe
Take this opportunity to get the leaves off of your lawn. Rake or blow leaves and debris away from your plants. Any excessive build-up of leaves on emerging plants will starve them of oxygen and will damage or even kill them. Plants, especially perennials, are too expensive to have them diseased or worse when a simple cleanup can alleviate this.
Dethatch Your Lawn
Thatch is not necessarily a bad thing. Thatch that accumulates during the course of your mowing actually can be beneficial. It breaks down and puts nutrients back into the soil. It also protects the roots from heat and helps retain moisture. But too much of a good thing can be harmful; make it a point to completely remove all of the thatch possible from your lawn. This is one of the critical things that can give any lawn a fresh look, but also allows oxygen to flow better around the turf.
Aerate Your Lawn
Compacted soil is the enemy of grass. In many parts of the country, the soil has a high content of clay that easily compacts. This can choke off new grass growth and not allow moisture to penetrate the soil. Aeration is a great way to open up the ground and allow more oxygen to get to the roots of the grass. If you aerate an area that is really compacted, check with your local extension office about proper soil amendments that help minimize compaction. It is ideal to aerate your lawn twice per year in the Spring and Fall. Doing this you will give your lawn the best opportunity to remain healthy throughout the summer and winter months.
Mow Your Lawn Higher Than You Think!
A lot of folks like to keep their lawn short to look like a golf course; the problem with that is turf on a golf course is a different type of turfgrass altogether. Not to mention golf course turf is also extremely dense unlike most lawns in the U.S. Mowing your yard higher in the Spring will allow it to choke out weeds and protect roots from sun damage. Most fescue lawns should be cut at 3 to 4 inches high. Most warm-weather grasses like bermuda, zoysia, and centipede should be cut to 1 to 2 inches. The most important thing to remember is to avoid cutting more than 1/3 of the height off. For example: If your lawn is 6 inches tall, you should cut 2 inches off at the most. This will alleviate the stress you put on your yard.