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Spring lawn care and treatment guide
Last Updated on January 21, 2020 by John
Having a stunning lawn will compliment all of your garden and really complete the overall look. The best way to make sure you have the perfect lawn is to put in some time and effort come spring. Spring is the perfect time to get some tasks done like mowing the lawn, giving your grass something to eat, getting rid of some ugly weeds, and filling in those bare patches left behind from winter.
A simple routine every spring will ensure that you have a lawn you are proud of, one that will not only stay green itself but make your neighbours green with envy.
So what can you do during the Spring to help your lawn perform at its best?
- Regular mowing to make sure your lawn is at the right height is crucial. If you have a shaded lawn, it should maintain a height around 6-7cm. For all other lawns, it’s good to have an average of 3 centimetres which means keeping it nice and short.
- Equally important in the spring is to give your lawn some food to increase its overall health and strength especially in preparation for the summer.
- This is the time of year to apply the first weed treatment of the year to prevent any extra weeds from cropping up once the sun reappears. Preventative measures are more effective than having to go through your lawn by hand and remove the weeds months down the line. Weeding and feeding can be done at the same time using a lawn weed and feed mixture which you spread over your lawn.
- You also want to spend this time alleviating those dead patches, the bare areas that didn’t quite make it through the winter. Get ready to do a little reseeding.
- Springtime is when you scarify your lawn to alleviate any buildup of thatch layers, removing things like dead grass, debris that may have fallen from nearby trees, and more commonly moss.
- Finally, it’s time to aerate your lawn so that water and air circulate into the roots which will tackle any drainage issues.
Now let’s look at this list in more detail.
First up is mowing. Regular mowing will help your lawn to be fantastic when it is growing in the spring. As the weather gets warmer you will likely have to increase when you mow to about once a week, two max. Your goal should be to maintain the same height throughout the springtime so that your lawn stays relatively the same.
What should this height be? That’s based on the type of lawn you have.
- If your lawn stays in the shade, it’s under a lot of trees and doesn’t see a lot of sunlight, let it get to about 6-7cm before you mow it.
- If your lawn is something that you and your family, and pets walk across all the time, and it gets trodden often, you can let it be around 5cm before you mow it.
- For all other Lawns, you want to maintain a height between 4 to 4 cm throughout the spring so keep it nice and short.
The reason you have to consider the type of one you have and subsequently the height is because mowing too short weakens the grass. If your lawn is too weak, it will allow weeds and Moss to take over choking out the grass that you are so desperate to thrive.
Once all that is done you also want to regularly trim the edges of the lawn. This will allow you to have crisp, well-manicured lines that look very appealing.
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Now is the time to deal with weeds. With any lawn, weeds can be a huge problem. Healthy, well-fed lawns can prevent weeds and moss better than unhealthy lawns but there is still work you will have to do.
Start by applying a liquid lawn weed killer. Always apply based on the instructions so that you don’t damage your lawn. If you don’t have issues with weeds but you do have to contend with moss, you can find lawn moss killer specifically to help you with this problem. Understand that if you have an issue with moss, and you apply a killer, the Moss will start to turn black as it dies away. This is perfectly fine and then you can remove it later but if you are going to have a garden party, give yourself enough time for the moss to turn colours and be removed before you schedule the event in question. Otherwise, things might look a little weird.
Scarifying your lawn to remove thatch and moss
Now is the time to scarify the lawn especially if the moss has been treated and turned black. This process is where you take a rake and you physically remove the dead grass and other debris that is on top of your lawn. This matter collects and then prevents feed and water from reaching the roots of your lawn, which results in dead patches.
You want to do this after applying the weed killer or moss killer so that you can remove all that leftover debris in the process. This will help keep the grass growing healthy.
Start feeding your lawn in spring
Next on the list is feeding. Just like all other plants and trees in your garden, your grass needs food now and again. It’s important to feed your lawn the right food, at the right time in order for it to grow successfully. You can buy specially designed spring lawn feed.
Good fertilizers help make the grass greener, literally, but it also strengthens the grass so that it grows thicker and more robust. This is not important in terms of the aesthetic appeal; stronger grass is able to compete with weeds and handle any weather-related stress. In the spring it’s best to apply a granular feed, one that provides nutrients over several weeks.
If you want to control weeds you can also apply a fertilizer that has controlling features for weeds and moss. If you choose to apply this yourself, it’s recommended that you use a lawn spreader. This is a very simple tool that you wear, fill with the fertilizer, and then crank the handle and watch as it spreads evenly across the entire lawn, you can also get larger models that you push as pictured above, all times are relatively inexpensive. That really is the key, that even spread. You don’t want to give one section of your lawn twice as much strength while depriving the other section. There are similar wheeled spreaders that you just push across your lawn especially if you have a bigger lawn. Applying too much can actually cause more damage and kill parts of your lawn so always follow the instructions on the packaging.
You will have to feed your lawn approximately every 6 weeks depending on the feed that you choose. This will keep your lawn healthy and strong throughout the summer. Make sure you pay attention to the label for the food you choose so that you can reapply as necessary.
Dealing with bare patches
With those issues out of the way, it’s time to deal with the bare patches that are left behind by winter. Winter can leave unsightly areas in your lawn and if you don’t deal with them they become the perfect place for weeds and moss. You can cover the areas using lawn patch repair products or simply apply some new grass seed. These include grass seed and slow-release feed to help you cover the bare patches with thick, healthy grass, quickly.
If the bare patches are the result of dogs, usually because they choose to pee on the lawn, you can add salt-tolerant grass seed to help that area grow back. There are specific dog spot repair products you can find on the market for this purpose.
Aerating your lawn in spring
Using a hollow tined aerator or garden fork this process does what you think it does: it opens up the lawn and rooms so that air can circulate. This will help improve drainage and result in a better-growing lawn.
You should go approximately 5 to 10cm deep, aerating every 10 centimetres or so. Doing this manually is better for smaller Lawns and is something you can tackle within a short amount of time but of course, if you have a large, sprawling lawn it’s better to invest in an aerator to help make the process significantly faster.
Be sure to water your lawn after all of these steps so that it has enough time to absorb the nutrients from the fertilizer, absorb the weed killer to tackle the weeds at the root level, and of course to reap the benefits of things like scarifying and aerating.
Following all of these steps will help you to have a well maintained, healthy lawn all throughout Spring! Remember that this is something you should be repeating every spring and making it a regular part of your spring routine will keep your lawn verdant year after year.