Our yards explode with color and growth in spring. But summer is right around the corner and with it comes heat and drought. Take these three key steps in spring and your lawn will be thick and green all summer long.
STEP 1 Remove Debris Fall and winter debris will impede your lawns growth while increasing the chance of insects and disease. Clean up the leaves, twigs and other debris that have gathered over the winter. Rakes work, but air blowers amke the job easier. Your lawn will instantly look better and reduce the threat of insects of disease.
STEP 2 Dethatch Thatch is a layer of dead grass, moss, and other debris which forms at soil level. In small amounts, it’s a great fertilizer. However, excessive thatch can prevent nutrients and water from reaching the soil, suffocating grass growth and providing a nurturing environment for damaging grub larvae. Use a dethatching mower or rake if there’s more than 1/2 inch of dead grass and roots visible.
STEP 3 Aerate Aeration opens your lawn to breath, allowing oxygen, water and nutrients to penetrate deep into the soil. Core aeration is preferable to solid tines because it removes plugs of soil and thatch instead of just punching holes which compacts the soil. Core aeration gives room for root growth while creating channels for water and nutrients to reach deep into the root system. Walk-behind, tow-behind and manual core aeration tools are available at your garden supply store or online.
STEP 4 Fertilize & Treat Weeds Even in the northwest, summer brings heat and dryer conditions. Preparing your lawn to withstand these stressors and weed growth begins with spring fertilizing and weed treatment. It’s best to fertilize shortly after aeration. It allows the fertilizer to quickly reach deep into the soil. Treat weeds however you see fit but do something. If crabgrass and other weeds get a foothold you will be fighting them all season. Fertilizing in spring will give your lawn the nutrients needed to grow thick and green while developing a deep, robust root system that will stand up to the heat and drought of the summer season. There are differences in fertilizer so ask you garden supply store for recommendations for the type of grass in your lawn.
STEP 5 Mow Early & Often One of the big mistakes homeowners make is only mowing once a week in the spring. Letting grass grow too high before cutting stresses the grass and stunts root growth. Instead, mow every five days for the first six weeks of spring, depending on the weather, to ensure a thicker, fuller lawn.
Take these steps to ensure your lawn can flourish all summer long.
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