How To Care For Your Lawn
During spring and summer, your water use can jump by 30 to 40 per cent because of outdoor watering activities.
Save money on your water bills while still having a pristine lawn by following these lawn care tips. You can also check out our watering guides:
Lawn care topics
What Happens If I Cut My Grass Too Short
Known as scalping, when you cut off more than one-third of the grasss height, your lawn could go into a state of physiological shock, resulting in brown or bare spots. Why? When you cut grass too short, you are depleting your lawn of essential energy reserves which can weaken or kill the turf. If its too late and the damage is done, dont think you can fix everything with a quick dose of fertilizer. Applying fertilizer will only make matters worse, possibly burning the already vulnerable grass.
Spring is an important time of year for lawn care and landscaping. The calendar tells us that spring begins on March 21st but if you live in Columbus, Ohio, you know this may not be the case. This article outlined various ways to treat your yard in spring and the importance of timing lawn treatments just right. If you have questions, contact Five Seasons Landscape Management, your local commercial lawn care provider.
Dont Wait Too Long To Mow The Lawn
Finally, it may seem early, but in most parts of Pennsylvania, grass will be ready for its first trim sometime in April. We recommend that grass be mowed once it reaches about 3 inches in height. By mowing the new green blades when they get to this point, you will prevent the grass from getting overgrown and stimulate continual growth.
Recommended Reading: Best Push Mower For Steep Hills
A Seasonal Lawn Care Schedule Helps You Plan What To Do And When To Do It Let’s Take A Quick Trip Around The Calendar And See What Needs To Be Done
Working from home has given some people much more time to work on lawns and gardens. If youre a proud do-it-yourselfer and lawn enthusiast, it can be easy to ruminate about ways to make your turf look better, no matter what month it is. As you contemplate lawn care, consider a yard maintenance schedule to keep yourself on track.
Note: This schedule follows recommended lawn care practices for Northern lawns consisting of cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue and perennial ryegrass. The actual timing of these tasks will vary by a few days or even weeks with an early or late arrival of spring weather.
On This Page
Mowing And Lawn Care Tips
Before mowing in spring, inspect your lawn mower and perform any necessary maintenance, such as changing the oil or spark plugs. Make sure your lawn mower blade is sharp to guarantee a clean cut. Be safe, and always remove the spark plugs before doing any work on your lawn mower.
- Start mowing when the ground is dry enough and grass is long enough to require cutting. Avoid mowing too low: Grass cut too short allows sunlight to reach the soil and encourages weed seeds to germinate.
- Consider setting the mowing height high enough to remove only the top one-third of the grass blades. Longer grass blades encourage deeper, healthier roots, but may require mowing more frequently.
- Check your mowers manual to see if it has a recommended setting for your specific type of grass.
- Consider lawn mowing early in the evening, when the temperatures are usually cooler and any fog or dew has dried. Dont mow when its raining or just after a rain, as the mower will not cut your lawn evenly and may become clogged with clumps of wet grass.
- Vary the pattern each time you mow. This helps prevent ruts from forming and keeps the grass from always bending in the same direction.
- Mowing should be done when your grass needs it, not on a set schedule. Grass usually needs to be mowed more often in the spring and early summer than at the end of the growing season.
Tip: Make sure your lawnmower’s tank is empty of gas at the end of mowing season so you can start the next cutting season with a fresh tank.
You May Like: How Long After Trugreen Treatment Can I Mow
Family Or Utility Lawns
For a normal family or utility lawn, you want to try and keep it to around 5mm deep. Any low spots will naturally get more but its really important that you dont smother the grass.
A good rule of thumb is to keep at least 75% of the grass leaf exposed, otherwise, you risk killing it.
If your lawn is full of peaks and troughs you might find that this doesnt level it completely the first time around. In this case, youll need to top dress more than once over the course of a few seasons.
If you only add 5mm of topsoil at a time you should be able to top dress twice in the spring and once in the autumn. At this point, your lawn should be much more level and full of nutrients.
5mm in topsoil equates to 4-5kg per square meter of lawn. To work out how much topsoil you need, simply multiply your lawns square meterage by the weight in soil per square meter.
So lets say your lawn is 50 square meters.
50 x 5 = 250kg.
Give It Nutrients To Grow In The Spring
Plants go dormant in Pennsylvanias winter climate, so fertilizer isnt necessary during the coldest months. This is true even for cool season grasses. But you can help your lawn recover from the harsh weather with fertilizer treatment first thing in the spring. After aerating, as soon as the snow melts and outside temperatures reach an average of 55°, give your grass a healthy snack to energize growth for the spring. Lawn fertilizer is a special mix of nutrients that the roots absorb. Then, the plant stores or uses it as food over time. If you use a spreader, fertilizing can be a quick and easy way to care for the lawn.
Read Also: How Much Lime To Put On Lawn
When Should You Start Doing Spring Yardwork
Just because we have a few warm days in March, or even February, doesnt mean you should pull on your gardening boots and grab your lawn tools. Make sure you wait until your lawn is mostly green before you go outside and start raking, aerating or mowing. On the other hand, dont wait until its too late in spring to apply a weed control product or plant grass seed. With spring lawn care, its all about timing.
What Is Lawn Top Dressing And Why Should I Do It
Top dressing is the process of spreading additional soil over the surface of your lawn. This would normally be a loam or a loam and sand mix, depending on the condition of your current soil.
Understand that the material you add to the surface of the lawn will eventually become part of the root zone. As such, its important to choose a top dressing mix that will blend in with your soil over time .
Don’t Miss: How To Fix Dead Patches In Lawn
Fertilizer For Spring Summer And Fall: What To Apply And When
The proud owners of lush, thick, green grass understand what it takes to get and keep an enviable lawn and fertilizer is their superpower. Knowing all there is to know about how and when to fertilize is their advantage. If you have just had your lawn replaced with thick lush new sod then you want to keep it that way.
Fertilizing your grass isn’t as elementary as sprinkling whatever you have in the shed on your lawn. Fertilizers all present with three numbers that tell us a lot about what’s in the bag. The first number indicates how much nitrogen can be found in a particular fertilizer. The second number represents levels of phosphorus and the third, potassium. Follow this schedule and treat your lawn on a seasonal basis.
Keep in mind that there are other things you can do before it’s time to fertilize. In late May or early June, before the heat of the summer arrives, apply some slow release nitrogen. This will encourage the grass to rebuild.
A good dose of nitrogen rich fertilizer will also arm your lawn. Fighting off the stresses of summer, traffic, disease, heat, and drought. Fertilizer is its defense. If you can’t stand to sit around and do nothing when the snow melts and the grass that emerges looks like its dead, consider an herbicide. However, herbicides can be harsh on grass, so ensure your herbicide contains a little fertilizer to help your lawn fight the negative effects herbicides can have on grass.
How Short Should I Cut My Grass
Some people think that cutting their grass shorter is better because they wont have to mow as often. The problem is, cutting off more than one-third of the grasss height is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. In fact, the more often you mow, because you arent cutting much off, results in a thicker, healthier lawn.
Also Check: Hydroseeding Diy Kit
How To Mow Your Lawn In The Spring
It may surprise you that there’s more to grass cutting than cranking up the lawnmower and pushing it across the lawn. Both mowing height and frequency are important to the health of your grass.
Though it may reduce the number of times you have to mow, cutting your grass short is harmful to your lawn in the long run. Mowing with a low blade height removes nutrients stored in leaf blades and exposes the soil to sunlight, allowing weeds to take hold more easily. Taller grass is better able to compete with weeds, thanks to a larger root system and a higher tolerance for heat. It also shades the ground, allowing the soil to retain water more effectively.
Given these benefits, it’s a good idea to cut your grass at the tallest height recommended for your grass type, which are as follows:
- Common bermudagrass: 1-2 inches
- Fescue: 2-3.5 inches
- Kentucky bluegrass: 2-3.5 inches
- St. Augustine: 2-4 inches
- Zoysia: 0.5-1.5 inches
Mow your lawn often enough so that you’re only removing the top one-third of the blades. This places less stress on the grass, and the smaller clippings are able to decompose more easily. Avoid bagging these clippings this added organic matter is actually quite good for the soil.
There are more than 25 million acres of tended lawn in the United States .
Can I Use A Pre
No. You need to decide between weeding and seeding for the season. Why? If you plant grass seed you cant apply a pre-emergent because, along with preventing weeds, it will also stop any new grass from growing. You can, however, fill in bare spots after applying pre-emergent, but you must wait 12 weeks for the weed treatment to run its course.
Don’t Miss: Peat Moss Grass
Water Deeply But Not Too Often
- Too much watering can lead to poor growing conditions and disease problems.
- Water only when your lawn needs it, usually no more than once a week when there is no rainfall.
- Apply at least 2.5 cm of water. Put a tuna or pet food can on your lawn to measure how much you’ve watered. Stop watering when it’s full.
- Consider the soil type and surface features. Grass growing on compacted, fine soil or on slopes needs lighter, more frequent watering.
Consider The Ph Of Your Soil
Ideally, youd choose a soil that is as close to the pH of the soil on your lawn as possible, or, something that will improve it.
So test your soil with a soil testing kit first.
pH ranges from 1 to 14 . Grass likes soil to be between ph 5.5 and 7.
Ornamental grasses like bents and fescues prefer slightly more acidic soil while broader leaf grasses like ryegrasses and meadow grasses prefer a more neutral pH of around 6.5.
You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Moss In Your Lawn
Be Wary Of Fertilizer Application Rates
Across the board, most fertilizer manufacturers are overzealous about their recommended dose and feeding schedule. Start light with half the recommended amount and rate of fertilizer. You can reapply if you don’t like the results. Over a season or two, you’ll get a clear sense of how much it takes to get a healthy lawn.
A healthy lawn will be a relatively light shade of bright green. A lawn that is a deep, almost blackish green, has been very heavily fertilized. The dark green color comes from a lot of nitrogen-based fertilizer used on the lawn. It is highly likely that some of that fertilizer has run off into the streets, storm sewers, and has made its way into local streams and rivers.
Top 5 Tips To Prepare Your Lawn For Spring
Think of your garden as a blank canvas. Its a space where you get to paint whatever picture you want. Not sure where to start? Heres a tip the lawn!
Preparation, preparation, preparation
Yes, its still Winter. Its still cold and frosty. But, dont let that get you out of the garden. Winter is the perfect time to prepare your garden for Spring the season your garden will bloom.
Follow these 5 steps, and you can help prevent your lawn from being overtaken by weeds or die from drought.
1. Rake it!
Raking isnt just for removing leaves and debris, its the best way to free matted patches of grass. Before you begin raking, look around and find matted patches where grass blades are stuck together. This is often caused by a disease called snow mould. The reason we need to get rid of matted patches is because new grass struggles to grow in areas it cant access air.
Fertilising your lawn and reinvigorating its nutrients gets your lawn out of its Winter hibernation. Fertilising and Top Dressing will give your lawn strength to withstand the stress brought on by the Summer months. We recommend Top Soil Improver to get the job done.
3. Dont underseed, overseed
The Winter months can make your lawn sparse and bare. If your lawn is looking a little sad, now is the time to apply grass seed to fill those damaged turf areas.
4. Pre-emergent Weed Control
Amgrows Seaweed Concentrate is a complete garden health treatment:
Don’t Miss: How Much Lime For Lawns
Debating The Use Of Fertilizer On The Lawn
Whether or not you should use fertilizer on a lawn depends on where you stand on organic or low impact-to-chemical gardening practices. Organic gardeners bemoan the use of any chemicals as lawn fertilizers. The main concern is the fertilizer run-off can enter the local water supply. There is good evidence that shows phosphorus and nitrogen from lawn and agricultural fertilizers are contaminating streams, rivers, and groundwater supplies, creating a pressing environmental problem.
There are a few organic methods of feeding a lawn safely. You can choose to use a mulching mower that chops up grass into fine particles that then break down on the lawn. Horticultural experts say that throughout the season, this technique provides a lawn with as much nitrogen as one complete application of lawn fertilizer. You can also use organic fertilizers made from natural materials instead of refined chemicals. Organic-labeled fertilizers will indeed feed your lawn, though they are usually less saturated with the essential nutrients than the industrially refined fertilizers.
Pre-emergent herbicides are a combination of fertilizer and crabgrass control herbicide applied in the early spring. This combination product does not have a full feeding of fertilizer. This small dose of fertilizer slightly boosts grass growth and keeps it alive, while the herbicide in the product restricts crabgrass seedling development.
Essentials For Spring Lawn Care
Below, youll find This Old Houses top tips for sprucing up your lawn in the spring. Some of these tips may not work in tandemoverseeding and applying herbicides at the same time can be counterproductive, for examplebut weve outlined them all so you can take your pick of the tips that work best for your lawn.
You May Like: How To Fix Dead Patches In Lawn
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.