Yard Maintenance for Spring

Even if you’re not in possession of the greenest thumb in the neighborhood, you are no doubt aware spring is a critical time for your yard. Making sure you are properly prepared for the (gulp) mowing season is important if you’d like those neighbors to spend the summer staring at your grass with envy.

Here are a few steps to take in the upcoming weeks to ensure your grass is ready to go.

Fertilizing: Depending on climate, the time between February and April is one of the key times you should be “feeding” your lawn each year. Spring fertilizing helps strengthen roots before the heavy growing period that is just around the corner.

Try and figure out which kind of weeds (like crabgrass) you struggled with the previous year and find a weed-and-feed that is best suited to your needs.

Weeds: When the soil reaches 55F degrees and stays there for a few days your old pal crabgrass can start to creep up.

You’ll want to think about a pre-emergent herbicide. There are a number of options – Tupersan, Dithopyr, and Pendimethalin – with each ranging in terms of cost. Keep in mind that some of those will impact when you are able to plant seed, if that is part of your plan this season.

This is also the time for attacking dandelions when they start to arrive. Whether you spray or tackle them by hand, make sure to get them take care of before they produce seeds.

Raking/Mowing: It sounds like a no-brainer, but cleaning up your lawn in the spring is important to get rid of dead grass and other debris. When your lawn is both thawed and dry, spend some time either with your rake or your bagging mower. Put that mower down to a lower setting and get rid of all the excess yards waste. If you do a good job bagging now you should be able to mulch the rest of the year.

Seeding: Fall is the best time for overseeding, but you may now be noticing pets and/or kids have created a number of unsightly bare spots.

If you go this route, one option is to apply a “starter” fertilizer to those spots. A month or so later you’ll want to follow that up with a nitrogen fertilizer. Keep in mind, however, that you won’t get the same results as you will if you wait until the fall.

The majority of yard projects can be handled on your own without any outside assistance. But if you have physical limitations or find you are unable to get the desired results, a good idea is to seek out a trained professional.