Winter is finally over and once again, spring has arrived. Now that the weather’s nice enough to start spending more time outside again, one chore that can’t be ignored is taking care of the yard. Spring is a very important time of year when it comes to taking care of your lawn. The things you do now help set the stage for how your lawn will look for the rest of the year. To help your lawn look its very best, here are a few of the most important spring lawn care steps you’ll need to take.
Rake the Lawn
Raking isn’t just something you do during the fall! Even if you don’t have a bunch of leaves on your lawn, raking it at the beginning of spring is a great way to help get it ready for the months ahead. Raking helps get rid of thatch, or pieces of dead and dying grass, that’s accumulated over the winter months. Too much thatch on your lawn makes it harder for new grass to grow and makes it more likely for fungus to grow. Raking your lawn in the spring also helps break up any areas of grass that got matted down during the winter. The process of raking your lawn also helps you spot problems that might need to be addressed.
Test Your Soil
When was the last time you checked the pH level of the soil in your yard? If you’ve had problems with your lawn in the past, perhaps the pH level of your soil needs some adjustment. Ideally, your lawn’s soil should be between 5 and 7. Soil pH testing kits are easily found at home improvement stores and if your lawn is too acidic or too alkaline, spring is an ideal time of year to try adjusting it. If your pH level is too high, a sulfate treatment can help bring it down. On the other hand, lime treatments can boost low pH levels.
Take Care of Weeds
Last summer, did you spend a lot of time out in your yard trying to get rid of weeds? If so, now is the time to take action. Spring is an excellent time of year to apply weed killers because it helps prevent weeds from becoming a problem in the first place. Just be careful to not use too much weed killer to avoid causing damage to your grass as it’s just starting to grow again.
Re-Seed Bare Spots
Bare spots of grass are another common problem homeowners have. Spring is a great time to patch things up since it gives your seeds a chance to get established before the hot summer weather arrives. However, be aware that you have to choose between getting rid of weeds or filling in bare spots in your lawn. The herbicides you use to get rid of weeds will be effective for about three months and can prevent new grass seed from growing, so you don’t want to try doing both.
Don’t Cut it Too Short
Now that it’s time to start mowing your lawn again, remember you don’t want to cut it too short. Longer blades of grass tend to have deeper roots, which helps them better attract moisture. Keeping the blade on your mower set around 3 or 4 inches tends to work well on most types of grasses. The rule of thumb is to only remove the top third of the grass.