Early Spring Lawn Care Tips
by Alec McClennan, on March 87, 2014
Tip 1: Give Your Lawn a Fluff
Over the winter lawns will often develop something called "snow mold" which is just matted down dead looking patches of grass. Snow mold can kill the leaves but 99 times out of 100 it does not kill the plant itself. So, if you use a light leaf rake to fluff it up once it dries out to improve air circulation, the plants should turn green again as they start to grow. If you want to throw a little grass seed down to jumpstart the process after raking, that isn't a bad idea.
Tip 2: Buffer Salt to Prevent Crabgrass
All the snow over the winter means that there was a lot of salt put down on the roads. Grass doesn't grow well in salty soils, but weeds and especially crabgrass love it. Our Aerify Plus contains humates and soil conditioners which both help salt leach through the soil and buffer the negative effects of salt on your grass and plants. One Hose End Sprayer will cover about 8,000 square feet. Pay special attention to areas that are near the street (tree lawns) and try to apply it before a rain so it soaks into the soil.
Tip 3: Use Corn Gluten Meal to Fight Crabgrass without Chemicals
Use an organic fertiilzer that contains a high percentage of Corn Gluten Meal like Good Nature's Spring Blend. Corn Gluten Meal provides a nice slow release source of Nitrogen to keep your lawn green while also inhibiting crabgrass germination.
Tip 4: Seed any Bare Spots to Prevent Future Weeds
If you have a bare spot of soil now, it will eventually be full of weeds. One of the best ways to prevent future annual weeds like crabgrass is to get some seed into the bare spots. We love a Garden Weasel for prepping the ground, it's much easier than a rake! For bare spots in the spring, a standard Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, and Fine Fescue seed mix is appropriate for most circumstances. Good Nature's Pro Mix Lawn Patch Repair contains a high quality mix of the above mentioned grasses as well as a newspaper and polymer mulch that holds the seed in place and helps it retain moisture between waterings. If you're buying seed from the hardware store, look for "named" cultivars. For instance, "Rebel Perennial Ryegrass" is better than a seed that just says "Perennial Ryegrass" on the label. The fact that it has a name is an indicator of quality - I made up the name Rebel, just using it as an example.
Tip 5: Mow Your Lawn To Prevent Future Weeds
Your first mowing of the year can be a little shorter than normal. We typically recommend about 2.5 inches. As soon as the grass really starts growing you should raise the blade up to 3.5 - 4.5 inches and keep it there until the late fall. More Mowing Info