D E S I G N • B U I L D • M A I N T A I N
First the Spring Lawn Clean Up
As the snow melts, it leaves in its wake a lot of debris built up from last fall. Sticks, leaves, broken branches, dead plants and garbage all need to be cleaned up and disposed of properly as part of early spring lawn care.
Prune, Edge and Cut: Grass,
Shrubs and Trees
Next on our list of lawn care tips for spring is getting out those tools for clipping, pruning and edging. Your perennials and trees can all benefit from a good, healthy trimming. Focus on older growth and anything that looks damaged or diseased – this encourages the plant to put energy into new growth and helps to keep your plants from growing too large.
Bug Off: Pest Control Planning
Preventative measures that deal with common wildlife pests will not just keep your landscape looking its best, but will also save you a lot of trouble over the course of the year. Animals such as ants, grub worms, and wasps (plus other stinging insects) create headaches in their own unique ways.
To Spray or Not to Spray:
Effective Weed Solutions
Weeds are the ultimate headache, but are also a great reason to be proactive about early spring lawn care and landscaping maintenance. They can begin growing as early as February or March and can quickly take over. Pre-emergent herbicides can act as a barrier to potential weeds already lurking in your existing beds by inhibiting them from germinating. Applying it before you mulch in early spring can make all the difference.
Working Under Cover: Mulch
Speaking of effective weed control, heavy mulching is a great way to bury weed seed and tiny weeds before they become big enough to cause problems. However, weeds that are already mature likely won’t be affected by this technique because they have built up the resources to grow right through the mulch layer. Additionally mulch is a great way to keep plants watered because it locks in the moisture at the base of the plant. Mulching around plants, trees and in gardens doesn’t just look good—it can mean the difference between healthy, vibrant plants, and plants that struggle to stay alive.
Composting is a fantastic way to eliminate yard waste, take care of the environment, save money on gardening, and reduce waste disposal costs. And, in addition to or instead of fertilizer you can use compost to feed your landscape plants and gardens. It’s not great for the lawn however, since putting compost on your lawn would basically be throwing dirt on top of your grass.
Start a compost pile now, or add to the one you currently have going. Turn over and expose the interior of the pile in the early spring so it will be ready when your gardens are in full bloom.
Bringing In New Life: Transplanting
Any new plants and trees that you want to incorporate into your property’s landscape should be transplanted now. Planting in early spring allows the roots to firmly establish themselves, offering enough time to strengthen and grow into the earth before the next cold season begins. Always follow specific planting directions from a nursery or greenhouse when putting in new vegetation.
Lawn Care And Landscaping:
Now’s the Time!
As winter’s icy grip finally eases up and the ground becomes visible again, spring clean up preparation of the grounds around your building(s) is vital if you’re going to get ahead on all that upcoming landscape work. While it may still seem a bit brisk outside, working in the sun isn’t so bad. Preparing for spring now will guarantee a stronger, healthier landscape, and you’ll be thanking yourself all year long for being so proactive about your landscaping maintenance in the spring!
Spring is perhaps the most important season for your property because what you choose to do (or not do) will have a huge impact on the rest of the growing season. We've compiled some of the most important tasks to consider.
Spring tips and checklist for your outdoor season maintenance
Don't be in a hurry to start working in your yard. Let the soil thaw and dry out before beginning your spring lawn care chores. Foot traffic on wet soils will cause soil compaction problems. Even worse damage is caused by walking on lawns where the soil has thawed on top and is still frozen underneath, shearing roots in the frozen soil from the grass plants on top.
If you get too aggressive with raking, mowing or aerating - any activity that will open up the turfgrass canopy exposing it to sunlight - you risk damaging fragile new growth and giving early germinating weeds the jump on your lawn grass. Wait until your grass is actively growing.
Early spring is a good time to give your lawnmower and other power tools a tune up. Sharpen your lawn mower blades, change the oil, spark plug, and filters.
If you are lucky enough to live in an area that gets a lot of snow, help it melt by spreading the piles and removing it from shady areas. This keeps snow molds from developing as the ground thaws.
Spring Lawn Care Chores To Do
When The Grass Starts Growing:
Or at least in the last three years? A soil test will tell you how much, if any, nutrients your lawn needs. It is the only way to determine whether or not liming is needed, and how much to apply. A soil test is also a valuable tool for diagnosing problems with your lawn, garden and landscape plants.
Once your lawn starts to green up, give it a good short cut to remove the dead grass tops. This will give the newly emerging leaves the sunlight they need and get them growing. Take care not to cut it too short - scalping and damaging the crowns of the plants. If you are a 'grasscycler' it's OK to collect the clippings and excess debris this first mow of the year.
Aerating benefits your lawn in several ways: reduces soil compaction, controls thatch, stimulates new root growth and improves water, air and nutrient filtration. Fall is the best time to aerate cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses should be aerated in the summer - when they are actively growing.
If you missed out on aerating your cool-season lawn last fall, spring is the second best time to get this done. Just be sure you aerate before you apply a crabgrass preventer. A good time to topdress with compost is right after you aerate, all soils benefit from adding organic matter.
Aerating will help control thatch and is less damaging to grass plants than power raking. If your thatch layer is over 1/2" deep, you'll want to consider dethatching with a power rake. Again, wait to power rake until your grass is actively growing and wait to apply crabgrass preventer until after you rake.
Fall is the best time to seed cool-season grasses. However, there is a short 'window of opportunity' you can take advantage of in the spring. Grass seed will start to germinate when soil temperatures reach 50° F. Get your seeding done early enough so the new grass plants have time to develop strong roots before the summer stress period. Overseeding works best when combined with aerating. Seeds will find their way into the aeration holes where they are protected, make good contact with the soil, and germinate quickly. Skip the crabgrass control if you overseed because it also works on grass seed. Plant warm-season grasses after the danger of frost has passed - late spring into early summer.
Important Spring Lawn Care Tips:
Crabgrass prevention is a very important spring lawn care chore. Spring is the time to prevent crabgrass. If your lawn is dense and vigorous, consider taking chemical weed controls off your spring lawn care list. A dense and vigorous lawn will not allow weeds to invade...its the best weed control.
Crabgrass is a prolific seeder. If you had crabgrass last year, expect to see it again this year and consider using a preemergence herbicide. These crabgrass preventers stop weed seeds from germinating, so you will want to apply them before seeds germinate to get the best control. This will be when soil temperatures reach 50° F. Many gardeners plan to apply their preemergence around Easter. Blooming forsythia is another good indicator - when you see the yellow blooms, the soil temperature is 50° F.
Don't worry if you are late applying preemergance - crabgrass and other weed seeds are germinating all season long and you'll still get some control...better late than never. Preemergance herbicides will
control a broad spectrum of weeds along with crabgrass and many products will give you three to six months control.
Go easy on the fertilizer in the spring. Too much will cause a flush of growth at the expense of the roots.
Cool-season grasses - including Kentucky bluegrass, fescues and ryegrass - should receive the majority of their annual fertilizer in the fall, that's when they will benefit the most. Lawns that were fertilized in the fall will green up early and won't need to be fertilized until late spring. A light spring application - around Memorial Day - will keep them healthy and give them a nice green color boost. The amount of fertilizer that you apply in late spring should be less than 1/2 lb Nitrogen/1000 ft2. If you missed your fall fertilizer, make it up with a couple light applications. Wait until the grass is actively growing (around mid-April) and then apply 1/4 to 1/2 lb nitrogen/1000ft2. Make another light application six weeks later (Memorial Day).
Warm-season grasses benefit from summer fertilizer applications, that is when they are actively growing. Wait to fertilize Bermudagrass, zoysia, St. Augustine, and other warm-season grasses until they green up. At least 75% of the lawn should be green. Fertilizing too early in the spring can cause a flush of growth that can damage the plants if there is a late heavy frost.
The last item on your spring lawn care list should be watering. It's tempting to start watering in early spring, but there is usually plenty of rain to keep your lawn healthy. Wait to water until the weather gets warm and dry. It's ok to let the grass show signs of drought stress - this will actually cause to roots to grow deep searching for water. Waiting until the weather turns hot and dry encourages deep rooting and that will prepare your lawn for the dog days of summer.
Reprinted from: Spring Lawn Care & Maintenance Tips http://www.better-lawn-care.com/spring-lawn-care.html#ixzz5aLW3WjQV
Put in your time early and enjoy the results later
Take It Easy on the Soil
Time for to Tune Up
Help the Snow Melt
Go Low on the Mow
Fertilizer: When and How Much?
Wait to Water