What Time Of The Day Should I Water The Lawn In The Spring
The best time to water your lawn in the Spring is in the morning just before the scorching sun rises to its peak. Some folks suggest otherwise. They wait for the sun to be hottest before they water the lawn.
The problem with this idea is that the water may not sink deep into the soil before the heat makes it evaporate. As such, its expedient to water your lawn before 10 am. By this time, the dew is still on the ground with a reasonable amount of moisture.
The evening would have also been a good idea too. But the blades of grass need sunlight to dry up, which the night doesnt have. Wet and dark conditions are a major cause of lawn disease, and this makes the evening a turn off.
See this post for more pros and cons to watering your lawn at night.
Your Spring Lawn Care Prospects
No one likes to pull weeds or spray herbicides as a part of their lawn care program.
What are the prospects for your lawn this summer?
If theyre not too good, you still have time in spring to take steps that will give you a better lawn next summer. Here are a few tips on how to improve your present lawn or build a new one!
Mow Your Lawn Regularly
Cut your lawn at least once a week in summer and once every two weeks during spring, autumn and warm winters. Regular trimming encourages the roots to spread, which will help to fill gaps and block out weeds.
In summer, raise the cutting height of your mower to leave the lawn longer around 5-10cm as this will make it less prone to going brown in dry weather. Keep your mower well maintained and the blades sharp.
Learn the benefits of a range of mowers including electric, battery and petrol powered machines, in Alan Titchmarshs No Fuss Guide to choosing a lawn mower:
For help on choosing the right lawn mower for your garden see our Buyers Guide videos and expert lawn mower reviews:
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How Do I Start My Lawn In The Spring
Planting Grass In The Spring
Once you’ve cleaned and repaired your lawn, you may need to reseed parts of it that are particularly bare or brown. This can dramatically improve the appearance of your grass, but there are a few simple steps you should follow to ensure that it won’t look worse after you plant than it did before.
First try to address the soil conditions that prevented grass from growing in the past. Call your local Cooperative Extension office to find out where you can get a soil test this will tell you what nutrients your lawn is lacking. Once you’ve corrected your soil composition, aerate the ground to avoid any problems with soil compaction.
Now you’re ready to buy seed and spread it on your lawn. Before choosing a seed, determine which varieties will work best in your region of the country and with the amount of sunlight in your yard. Then roughly estimate the size of the area where you plan to plant, as seed coverage is recommended in pounds per square foot. If you’re spreading the seed over a large area, it is best to use a broadcast spreader, but smaller areas can be seeded by hand.
Don’t ignore the grass once you’ve planted it. Water regularly to maintain soil moisture and fertilize with a slow-release, low-nitrogen product. Mow when the grass reaches 3 or 4 inches in height, but try not to trim off more than a half-inch as doing so could stress the plant.
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Using Edging For The Lawn
An attractive edging can be constructed with paving stones or brick and laid flush with the lawn. This kind of edging will also reduce the need for hand trimming. Steel, aluminum and plastic edgings are attractive and readily available alternatives as well. Edging can also save on lawn maintenance by keeping mulch in and grass out.
Watch Your Thatch Level
When soil becomes compacted over time, it restricts the grasss access to vital nutrients and makes it difficult for the soil to absorb water. Your lawn can also accumulate thatch. Thatch is a combination of living and dead plant matter. Grass clippings do not generally contribute to thatch buildup as they can be easily broken down. A small amount of thatch may be beneficial however, excessive thatch can cause root problems. Between compacted soil and thatch, your lawn could need some relief as part of your spring lawn care. Lawn aeration helps alleviate thatch, improve water absorption, and facilitate better grass growth.
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Use Natural Lawn Fertilizers
Why use natural fertilizers instead of synthetic lawn fertilizers? Because they are better for your grass, the environment, and they are proven to work better than synthetics! A recent study by Austins Watershed Protection and Development Review Department, with the collaboration of Texas A& M, showed that organic and natural lawn fertilizers actually produce greener lawns than synthetics. Moreover, natural fertilizers are healthier for your family and for the environment! There are a number of natural lawn fertilizers to choose from. You can browse them here.
Compost Your Kitchen And Garden Waste For Greener Grass
Composting your grass clippings is a great way reduce waste and help your garden and lawn grow. Additionally, you can compost other waste from the garden and even from your kitchen. Adding compost to your soil is one of the best ways to green up your grass and all your garden plants. Compost has a number of other benefits, including:
- Compost improves water drainage in clay and sandy soils.
- Compost creates a slow release of plant nutrients and stimulates root growth.
- Compost helps reduce problems with soil-borne plant diseases and garden pests.
- Compost prevents erosion of precious topsoil.
- Compost recycles yard and kitchen wastes instead of sending it to the landfill.
- Compost balances the pH levels of most soils.
- Compost attracts beneficial insects, worms, and other organisms
Composting is easy and rewarding. Read more about composting at the Compost Instructions web site.
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Lawn Care Equipment Maintenance In The Spring
A little bit of service and preventative maintenance can ensure that your lawnmower, string trimmer and other implements are running efficiently and won’t break down before you place them back into storage for the winter. Such machines are typically gasoline powered, so they should be serviced using the following simple steps:
Reducing Depth Of Pot
This is the easiest method, but also the most work because youll have to repot your plant more frequently for a few weeks until it gets used to the new conditions. The main idea here is that container depth must be reduced relative to its diameter at top this makes soil arrangement similar to a flag pole standing upright with no flags attached. Water will pool at bottom near rootball and still evaporate slowly instead of running off like water down a slope: this increases porosity while retaining necessary pore size gradients which plants need . Planting deeper than normal therefore causes drowning issues while not planting deep enough results in low porosity. Note however that soil depth should never be so shallow that roots are exposed to air at surface! The benefit of this method is the intensive pore space created where water accumulates, which promotes root growth and branching. One downside is that plants must be watered more frequently during times of rapid transpiration because theres a greater direct path for water loss from container, but overall its a better method than other choices if your plant tolerates frequent re-potting while still growing well.
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Fertilizing Grass In The Spring
Once your grass is well-established, you can encourage its growth and discourage weeds by applying a combination of fertilizers and herbicides. When you should apply these substances and how much you should apply depends on several factors, like where you live and the extent of your weed problem.
Fertilizer can help your lawn grow thick and lush, but if it’s not used properly, it can actually damage the grass. A slow-release nitrogen fertilizer is best, and no more than 1 pound of nitrogen should be spread per 1,000 square feet . It should be applied early in the season when the turf begins actively growing, so the timing varies among regions. Fertilizer should not be applied too early or late, however, as lingering cold or early heat can stress the grass. Check the packaging to see when and how much you should water after applying the fertilizer.
Herbicides must also be used with care, as their effectiveness often depends on when they’re used. If you have a widespread weed infestation, it’s best to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to your lawn before the seeds germinate in the spring. Be aware, however, that you can’t use this treatment if you plan to plant new grass, as the herbicide will also prevent those seeds from germinating. For more isolated problems, spot treating with a non-selective herbicide should be enough to do the trick. Ultimately, the best way to discourage weeds is to have a thick, healthy lawn.
This Is When You Should Start Mowing Your Lawn In The Spring
If you’ve already tuned up your lawn equipment or are in the market for a new lawn mower, you’re probably anxious to get out and start caring for your yard. But before you do that, it’s good to know when the right time is to start mowing your lawn in the spring. It’s not as simple as “when the grass starts growing.”
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Other Spring Lawn Tasks
- Aeration: is best done during your lawns peak growing season. For warm-season grasses, this means early to mid-summer. For cool-season grasses, aeration is best saved for fall but can be repeated in spring if the soil is extremely compacted. Wait until your lawn has been mowed 2-3 times in the season, so youll be sure it is growing fast enough to recover from the aeration.
- Dethatching: also best done during peak growing season, right before aerating.
- Mowing: Begin mowing as soon as your lawn needs it grass blades do best when you cut no more than a third of the blades length at a time.
- Watering: Once your grass starts growing, youll need to make sure your lawn gets at least 1 of water per week. Until then, you can water less frequently but remember that cold air is very drying to plants and lawns.
- Insect control: Spring is a good time to address problems with fire ants. Many other insects, such as grubs and mole crickets, may also cause damage to your lawn in spring but are more effectively controlled later in the summer.
- Lawn Equipment: Sharpen the blade and tune up your lawn mower, as well as other lawn equipment, to make summer mowing a breeze!
Cut Your Grass For Winter
The fall season allows your lawns roots to strengthen so your lawn will come back thicker and fuller next spring.
But while that root growth is happening below the surface, your grass leaf growth will slow to just about nothing.
Until the ground freezes, your lawn will experience dormant growing where the roots are being strengthened under the surface. This is why many fall lawn fertilizers are high in phosphorous, a nutrient that aids in root growth and development.
Youll want to get that last mow of the season in, but note that if you mow your lawn right when the grass blades stop growing for the season, this could interfere with the rooting process.
Personally I like to mow a bit shorter than usual for my final mow, but leave enough coverage so the grass plants have some protection through the winter.
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Choose The Right Kind Of Grass
One common problem with many lawns, is that the variety of grass is not well-suited to the site. You need to consider:
Climate: Many grass varieties will not tolerate extreme hot or cold or may not thrive in wet or dry conditions. Others are known for their hardiness or ability to resist drought.
Amount of sun or shade: Most grass varieties require full sun to remain lush and green. If your yard receives less than four hours of full sun, you need to plant grass varieties that are well-suited to shade.
Traffic on the lawn: Some varieties of grass are more tolerant of foot traffic than others. If your lawn sees a lot of traffic, choose a coarse-textured variety of grass that doesn’t mind some abuse.
Special site considerations: Steep slopes, deep shade, rocky areas and walking paths are simply not good places for growing and maintaining a lawn. Consider planting these difficult areas with perennials, ground covers, spreading evergreens, low-growing shrubs or wildflowers. For areas that get lots of foot traffic, consider a gravel path or stepping stones.
Use Corn Gluten Meal As A Natural Herbicide And Lawn Fertilizer
Corn gluten meal is used most frequently as a natural preemergent herbicide for turf grass and organic crops. However, it has the added benefit of fertilizing your soil. Corn Gluten Meal is a totally natural byproduct of the wet-milling process for corn . It will help control annual weeds in your lawn and will keep your grass fertilized. If you want to learn more about this great organic gardening product, please visit Dr. Nick Christians University of Iowa Corn Gluten research page.
8. Use Mycorrhizal Root Builder to improve your soil.
Mycorrhizal fungi are beneficial soil organisms that provide a sort of secondary root system for your garden plants and grass. They attach themselves to the roots and help plants and grass make better use of water and organic nutrients in the soil.
With a Mycorrhizal fungi root builder, you can get mycorrhizal fungi to work more efficiently. Mycor Root Builder is an excellent product that will work great on all the plants you grow, not just your turf grass. Like these eight easy steps? Dont forget to bookmark them or pin us on Pinterest!
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Spring Lawn Care Tip #4 Get Loose By Aerating
When it comes to getting green grass in the summer, I found that aerating your lawn in the spring is a big deal, especially around here. If you dont have someone that does it regularly for you, chances are theyll be a company walking around The Meadows in a few weeks to offer this service. You can also rent a machine at Home Depot or Lowes. Aerating helps promote air flow in your grass, but it also helps loosen the soil so your lawn can absorb more moisture.
Switch To Organic Fertilizers
Once your soil and your lawn are healthy, you may find that there’s no need for supplemental fertilizers. But it may take awhile to improve the quality of your soil, and along the way, you’ll probably want to apply an organic fertilizer on an annual or semi-annual basis.
There are two different fertilizing schedules for American lawns-one for cool-climate grasses and the other for warm-climate grasses. Before you fertilize, it’s important to understand what type of grass you’re growing because they can have very different growing cycles.
Grass has a reputation of being a “heavy feeder,” requiring lots of fertilizer. But that’s true only of lawns that contain little organic matter, worms or other soil life. Chemical fertilizers may feed the grass, but they can also have a negative impact on soil life and soil texture, and do nothing to increase organic matter. Chemicals fertilizers can also over stimulate growth, making turf more vulnerable to disease and insects.
Organic fertilizers release nutrients slowly over time to provide long-term nutrition, improve soil tilth, and encourage soil life. They also provide vital trace nutrients that your lawn needs in minute quantities. Leaving grass clippings where they fall also adds free nutrients and organic matter to the soil. If the clippings are too thick and wet, they should be raked up and composted for later application to the soil.
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