After this recent epic snowfall throughout much of the West, it may feel as though winter is with us forever. But, take heart… spring will, in fact, be here before we know it!
As you start thinking about spring and what that means for yard work, know that springtime is actually one of the most important times to be proactive about your yard maintenance.
Here are some easy steps to help you prevent your beautiful lawn from being overtaken with weeds and stressed by conditions such as drought and heat.
It’s amazing what we find once the snow melts! Be sure to remove any debris that may have accumulated.
It’s important to rake matted areas of the lawn which can harbour Snow Mould. A good raking will promote air flow throughout the grass and prevent disease and insect infestation. It will also help all those new baby grass blades waiting to sprout the room to grow without a struggle. BUT… you must be sure the grass is dry enough. Rule of thumb: if footprints remain after walking then it’s still too moist and raking will do more harm than good. As well, you want to rake while the dormant grass is quite brown. Raking too late will harm healthy roots.
Aerating is a great thing to do to your lawn in the spring. It allows water and air to reach the root zone faster, resulting in new growth and increased root development. In the spring however it is important to core aerate before the soil temperature reaches about 12 degrees Celsius. As it warms you’re simply making room for, and inviting, aggressive weeds seeds to find a home.
Winter is known to wreak some havoc on our lawns and come spring there may be some repairs needed to areas damaged by salt and snow plows. If the weather is on your side, spring can be a great time to re-seed any damaged turf areas, however if you are applying a pre-emergent weed control there is care to be taken. The pre-emergent weed control is non-selective, so it will prevent ANY seed from germinating. Our turf specialists recommend that if the weather permits, hold off the crab grass control to the latest point possible. Then perform the turf repairs needed as early as possible so that the seeds have enough time to germinate and somewhat establish prior to the pre-emergent being applied. If this is not possible, don’t skip the pre-emergent weed control. It is better to wait until fall to perform any turf repairs.
We all envision lush green grass, but early spring is NOT the time to apply fertilizer with high nitrogen (first number). Instead, you should use a slow release formula with a higher middle number such as Golf Green 10-20-5. The middle number represents the percentage of available phosphorus, which encourages good root development. Spring time is when your lawn is working to recover from winter, so a turf starter fertilizer is what will be the most help. You can apply a higher nitrogen, slow release fertilizer when the grass is green and growing later in the spring.