Winter and extreme weather can leave its mark on your turf. Start the year off right and make a fresh start by planning for a lush lawn.
Begin by evaluating your soil because a healthy lawn starts with a solid foundation. From there, when weather permits and soil temperatures reach above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, you can tackle your other lawn care needs. That way, you can enjoy a lush lawn when spring comes along.
6 Ways to PLAN AND Grow a Lush Lawn:
1. Test pH
Soil is the most important foundation of a healthy landscape, yet it often gets overlooked. Test soil now for pH and nutrient levels so you know how to amend.
Aerating, the process of punching holes in your lawn, allows water and nutrients to reach the roots quickly and deeply. Over time, compaction can stress grass and make it easier for weeds to invade and take over. An aerating machine is the easiest way to complete this task. Ask an associate in The Home Depot Garden Center to discuss the benefits of renting one versus buying one for your needs.
In regions with acidic soil, nitrogen and other nutrients may be absent. To lower the pH of the soil, add lime now. Amendments work best when applied over a freshly aerated lawn where the granules can settle into the small holes made by the aeration machine. Apply lime using a drop spreader to a very dry lawn, so it doesn’t burn the grass.
The best time to control early spring weeds is after forsythia bloom. Apply a layer of pre-emergent on the grass will prevent many weed seeds from sprouting, including crabgrass. Do not apply a pre-emergent if you’re planning on seeding your lawn this spring. It will stop grass seed from growing for 2-6 months. Wait until next spring to apply a pre-emergent.
In spring, plan to repair patches in the lawn by overseeding, especially after aeration. Simply apply seed using a drop spreader and water thoroughly. Ensure seeds receive daily water for proper growth and development.
Once your lawn reaches three inches in height, it’s time to mow. But remember, grass grows best at two inches and higher, so keep it a minimum of this height during the first few cuts in spring. Never cut shorter than 2 1/2 inches or remove more than 1/3 the height — or you risk shocking grass into decline. Aim to literally take the ‘top’ off. Results are even better if you allow clippings to remain on the lawn to act as a mulch to keep grass roots cool, moist and happy as temperatures warm up.