The sun is shining, the birds are singing, fish are jumping…spring is here! The weather is warming up, frequent rain showers water the ground, and slowly but surely the days are getting longer. It all seems like the perfect time to dive into some lawn care revival. But where exactly should you start?
A simple search online for “spring lawn care” will give you literally millions of tips and techniques. In some cases, you may learn a thing or two and actually come across a great new regiment for rejuvenating your lawn this spring. Conversely, many of these are either not true or worse, will produce an adverse effect on your lawn, stunting growth, killing grass, or removing nutrients from the soil! Here are a few “internet famous” myths that you should steer clear of.
We don’t know who initially claimed such a thing in the first place but you CANNOT fertilize your lawn with beer. You may hear or read that the yeast in the beer will provide nutrients or healthy micro-bacteria for the grass. Instead, you run the risk of spreading fungus throughout your lawn! This will cause bigger problems so save your beer and save your lawn.
There are a variety of brands for this DIY product. The idea is to purchase shoes/attachments with long spikes to aerate your yard by wearing them and marching around. Other sources would say “use what you have” and wear golf cleats. Unfortunately, neither do an adequate job at aerating. They either won’t penetrate deep or wide enough and the surface area of your steps will flatten and compact the holes. It is worth your time and money to hire a landscaping service or rent/purchase an aerator or tiller and do it the right way the first time.
Always Be Raking
Home Owner’s Associations aside, you don’t have to rake the leaves off of your lawn. While heavier layers can suffocate your lawn, a thinly spread layer will eventually mulch your grass and will do so quicker if you mulch-mow the leaves with your lawnmower – just be sure the leaves are chewed up into small, confetti-like bits.
Spring Time is Seed Time
While spring may seem like the perfect time to spread seed (see the reasons stated in this post’s introduction), not all seeds or grass types thrive in the warmer, rainier spring. When it comes to seeding, knowledge is power. Know the type of grass you want to grow, whether it’s a good choice for your location, and how to grow it and keep it growing. And if yours is the type that thrives in springtime, then go for it!
What to Actually Do This Spring
Hopefully you’ve learned the truth about some of those homemade/DIY remedies. There are plenty more out there but as long as you stick with this checklist, you’ll find your yard greener and healthier sooner and staying that way much longer.
• Clear Debris – rake off heavy foliage (remember small amounts are ok and mulching them is a good thing) and clear pine cones, acorns, sticks, and rocks if need be. An unobstructed lawn is one that will grow easily.
• Aerate – and do so properly! It’s amazing what a single aerating session will do for your lawn so spend the extra money and time and do it with a professional level quality.
• Seed – again, only do so if spring is the right season for the grass type and seed you’re sowing. If yours is best done in the fall (Tall fescue, Perennial ryegrass, and others), it will not thrive in the spring.
• Weed – you’re never really done weeding. Removing weeds will always be a great advantage to your lawn’s health. Keep the weeds in check and your lawn will thrive.
• Equipment Maintenance – keep your tools at their maximum capability and your yard will look professionally groomed. You may even notice that yard work is done with ease.