Spring Lawn Care

Spring lawn care depends on the area of the world that you live in, how you’re supposed to take care of your lawn is going to differ. And knowing what to do can make the difference in a lawn that’s full and green and one that’s suffering from less than stellar care.

There are twelve zones in all and some states can have an overlap of zones. In the North, the climate can be colder – even in the spring – than it is in the other regions. So you have to base how you treat spring lawn care on the temperature.

Making sure you care for your lawn in the spring can make a difference for the fall months. If you don’t take care of the lawn in the spring, then you’ll have damage by the fall.

The first step that you have to take is to remove any lawn debris. You can do this by raking. This gets up any leaves that have fallen to the ground and died, but it also can help keep your lawn free of thatch.

Thatch is made up of the stems and roots that didn’t complete a decomposition process. You’ll find thatch right around the top of the soil. For people who did a thorough raking job in the fall, the thatch buildup isn’t as thick.

If you leave thatch, it can create patchy areas in your lawn because the new grass can’t push through this to the surface. If you do live somewhere in the North, your spring lawn care should begin when the snow and ice that your area normally gets has stopped being a weather issue.

If you live in the South, you can usually begin spring lawn care earlier in March than you can in the North. The next step after raking is to aerate the soil. You can buy or rent the equipment to do this with.

You want to aerate your soil to keep it from becoming compacted. Soil compaction happens when there’s pressure applied to the surface of the soil. This can be caused by things on the lawn and by people or animals walking across it.

Next, you want to check your soil’s pH level. What you’re looking for is a pH level of 6.5 to 7. While some items do well with soil that’s more acidic, a higher pH level can kill off certain types of grass.

Check the lawn for areas where the grass may have been worn away or is brown and treat these areas. This is where you can over-seed, but seeding is something that you really want to save for the fall.

You’ll also need to keep the seed moist. Next, you’ll need to fertilize. Use a slow release fertilizer for best results. Spring is the time of the year where the weeds just seem to flourish regardless of what region you’re in.

You’ll want to remove the weeds either manually or by using an herbicide. But if you use an herbicide, make sure you see if the item treats weeds before or after they sprout. If you live in the South, you’ll want to pay attention to the climate region because the spring temperatures can be noticeably different than that of the North.

Most of the South falls into the warm and humid zone. In this zone, you really have to have a warm season grass if you want your lawn to thrive. The grasses that are best for this zone are St. Augustine, carpet grass or Bermuda.

Some areas of the South fall into the transition zone. This means that certain portions of the state can have cold weather even though they’re in a warmer area. For example, some portions of South Carolina have warmer winters and rarely see snow or ice while other portions of South Carolina have both.

The closer to the coast that you are in the South, the warmer the spring lawn care season will be. In the South, you can begin your lawn care for spring about a week before the calendar states that spring has officially arrived.

You’ll want to remove any debris such as dead leaves or waste that didn’t decompose. Check for areas of the lawn that has portions of soil that may have suffered any damage and repair those.

Aerate the lawn and reseed any damaged areas. Usually weed control is taken care of in the fall. Once the weeds actually push out of the ground, it’s too late for preventative care and you have to go with an herbicide that takes care of weeds after they’ve started growing.

Make sure that you get the soil tested. In the mild weather states, the spring is the time that you must aerate the lawn. The recommended grass height for lawns in this zone is 2 inches.

If you let it get shorter than that, you run the risk of the sun burning the grass. Your lawn will end up looking scalped and make it easier for pests and disease to take over. If you live in one of the mild weather states, spring is the time that you have to work to take care of diseases associated with lawns.

You’ll want to treat both your grass as well as any shrubs that you have. These states are known for a higher level of moss growth. In the spring is the time of year when moss can spread rapidly.

If you don’t get this growth under control, it can cause damage to your lawn. If you decide that you want to lay turf and you live in this area, this is the time to undertake that project.

In any of these areas, you want to change out the mulch around your landscaping. Pests and disease can make a home in mulch over the winter, so that’s what you’re looking for.

Some people fertilize the minute that spring official begins, but you want to wait until April or May, depending on your region, before you fertilize. If your lawn is still more brown, than green, you want to wait until it has a higher area of green over brown. Fertilizing helps your grass make it through the winter.