Though a large part of the country is still frozen, there are some areas where weather has returned to normal. We are starting to receive a lot of emails about what to do for lawns and gardens when the weather breaks, and how to prepare your lawn for spring. We know that many you are anxious to get going, but, if at all possible, stay off the lawn until you can walk on it without sinking in. If you have been using Aerify PLUS your lawn should drain faster in the spring and green up a little sooner.
When your lawn is ready to go, here are some of the things you can do to help it out:
- Give the lawn a light raking to remove debris and lift up matted grass and (in the North) snow mold damage. Snow mold, a lawn disease, occurs on most Northern grasses, especially the creeping grass types. It is worse when there has been alternating snow cover and warm periods. Most snow mold will disappear by mid spring if you fluff it up a bit so air and sunlight can get to the soil.
- If you fertilized in the late fall, there is no reason to fertilize too early in the spring. The lawn should have plenty of food stored up for early spring growth. This growth helps thicken up the lawn and also helps crowd out incipient weeds and Crabgrass. We suggest that you make an early application of Aerify PLUS or Nature’s Magic in early spring when the grass is greening up and beginning to grow. They won’t force excessive growth but will stimulate fast and deep rooting and will provide trace elements and organics to the grass and soil. They will also help make all the major and minor nutrients in the soil more available to the grass.
- If you did not fertilize in the late fall and/or if the lawn is looking weak and thin, an application of LAWN FORCE 5 or our 16-4-8 Bio-Enhanced Lawn Fertilizer will stimulate both the above and below ground growth that you want to have in the spring.
- Seed bare and thin areas early. You want the grass thick before the weeds start sprouting. Use the correct seed type for your area and your particular lawn. The Aerify PLUS, and Nature’s Magic are also great for new seed and will cause beneficial root fungi (mycorrhizae) to generate.
- Apply Lime. Spring is a good time to apply Lime (Calcium) to your lawn. Lime fights soil acidity and soil microbes love the calcium. Our Liquid Lime Formula (calcium) is an easy way to apply calcium and it gives you faster results while avoiding moving heavy sacks of lime from the garden center to your car, to your garage or shed, and finally to your spreader where you often end up spilling on the grass.
- Alternatively, apply Sulfur. If you have had your soil tested and it shows excess Calcium with an alkaline pH above 7, you are more prone to lawn diseases like Pink Snow Mold, Summer Patch, Dollar Spot, and Take All Patch. (By the way, the ideal pH for lawns is about 6.5)
- Mowing. Make your first cut short – as low as you can mow without scalping the lawn- perhaps 1 – 1½ inches high. Do this only when the grass is just starting to grow, not if it is already growing vigorously. This short mowing cuts away some of the dead grass left over from the previous season if you left it too high. It also helps warm up the soil faster, stimulates growth, and allows more sunlight to reach the newly forming grass blades.
And remember, feel free to email us if you have any questions about lawn care or our products!