Preparing Your Lawn for the Spring
It’s really important that you prepare for summer and the grass-growing season by taking some specific steps during the springtime. This will help to ensure that you have a lush, vibrant lawn throughout the entire summer, and that it looks great all season long. It’s not really necessary to pamper your lawn, but you should carry out these preparatory steps to make sure your lawn is at its best throughout the summer season.
Make sure your equipment is ready
Obviously, the lawn mower will be one of the main pieces of equipment you’ll need to maintain your lawn throughout the season. To that end, you should:
- change the oil
- replace the spark plug
- clean the carburetor
- put in a new air filter
- grease the fittings
- sharpen the blades
- scrape the underside of the mowing deck.
If you carry out these tasks before mowing season actually starts, you’ll be well prepared to go through a full summer of lawn-mowing activities with the expectation of good service from your equipment.
Things have a way of accumulating on your lawn throughout winter, so one task you should be sure to carry out in the spring is cleaning up all the scattered debris around your yard. Usually a leaf rake will suffice to gather all the debris into one or two piles, and then these can be transferred to a large tarpaulin. The tarpaulin will make it easy to transport the debris to an area where it can be loaded into lawn bags for disposal. Make sure not to take this cleanup step too soon however, because that can actually damage tender grass shoots, and it can have the effect of compacting the soil.
Discourage weed growth
At the same time that you’re feeding your lawn in the spring time, you can help prevent weeds from appearing by applying a herbicide which discourages seeds from germinating. This will significantly reduce the presence of dandelions, crabgrass, and many other weeds. Applying a herbicide will be effective for about three months, so you’ll need to reapply at some point during the summer time.
Fertilize your lawn
It’s best to use a slow-release fertilizer during the spring time, because those nutrients will then break down over the next several weeks and months, so you won’t have to reapply quite so frequently. For the most part, you can go as much as two months in between fertilizer applications, and when you’re feeding your lawn like this, it’ll make a great deal of difference to its overall health and vitality.
Treat bare spots
If you have any bare spots on your lawn, these should be seeded over during the springtime, so that grass will be growing there by summer. Make sure to loosen the soil up with a rake, and then rake the grass seeds into your soil before giving them a good drink of water. It’s also a good idea to cover over the seeds with hay, so as to prevent birds from feasting on your grass seed. In just two or three weeks, you’ll probably see some grass shoots emerging.
Mow cautiously the first time
The first time you mow your lawn in the spring, you should use a high setting on your lawn mower, one which will leave the grass shoots three or four inches high. If you should cut your grass too short in the springtime, it can have the effect of weakening your grass shoots, and cause their growth to be stunted. After that initial mowing, you can then reset your height to whatever you normally use for spring and summertime mowings.