Lawn Care During Spring Season

BY
James
/
/
in
Gardening

A simple spring lawn care programme will give you a lawn to be proud of, keep it in perfect condition and make friends and neighbours green with envy making you their go-to for garden advice.

 

The secrets of success to effective spring lawn care are:

 

  1. Regular lawn mowing with the correct mowing height is essential; cutter height should ideally be no lower than 5cm for the first few cuts, in general.
  2. Feed your lawn in spring and then again in summer to increase strength, vigour and health.
  3. Treat lawn weeds and moss quickly and effectively using a lawn weedkiller.
  4. Deal with bare patches in the lawn immediately to deter weeds and moss from taking hold.
  5. Scarify the lawn to help alleviate the build-up of thatch layers in the lawn, including debris, dead grass, and moss.

 

6. Aerate your lawn to relieve compaction and let air circulate around the lawn root system. Aeration will also help if you have lawn drainage issues. 

Mowing in the spring

The most important lawn care job for a healthy and good-looking lawn is correct and regular mowing. You need to cut the grass whenever it is growing – which is likely to be weekly or even more frequently as the weather warms up in spring.

The aim should be to keep it at the same height all through spring. For most lawns, this should be about 2.5-4cm (1-1.5in) high. For lawns that take a lot of wear and tear the height is better raised to 5cm (2in). For very shaded areas, mow at a height of 7.5cm (3in).

Mowing too short and, as a consequence weakening the grass, is the quickest and easiest way of allowing weeds and moss to become established and spoiling the lawn.

Try not to let the grass grow really long and then scalp it. This will weaken the grass and allow moss and weeds to come through. Much better to mow regularly and at a higher cut.

Spring lawn feeding

Next on the priority list is feeding the grass, with the right lawn food at the right time. A good feed not only makes the grass greener, but it makes it grow thicker and increases its strength, vigor, and health so it is more robust and better equipped to compete with weeds, moss, and weather-related stresses. 

Treating weeds and moss

Lawn weeds are a major headache that can stop you from fully enjoying your lawn. A strong, healthy and well-fed lawn will be able to deal with weeds and moss far better than one that isn’t fed and looked after properly.

Where weeds and moss are a problem you need to deal with them quickly. If you just have weeds but no moss, then you can quickly treat your lawn with a liquid lawn weedkiller. These products contain special ingredients that, when applied by the instructions, won’t cause any damage to your lawn grasses but will control most broad-leaved weeds. If you only have moss but no weeds then there are lawn moss killers available, most will also contain a feed so it will green up your lawn as it kills the moss - bear in mind the moss will turn black as it dies so you may not want to do this just before a party!

Dealing with bare patches

After the ravages of winter, many lawns have bare areas that not only look unsightly but are perfect places for weeds and moss to take hold. Give your lawn a treat by giving it the once over with a lawn patch repair product. The best products in the market will have a combination of grass seed, coir and slow-release feed and will cover bare patches in no time at all producing a thick grass covering the bare area.

Water

Spring irrigation needs vary by region. For mountain and arid desert areas, continue watering lawns as you have been through winter, increasing irrigation frequency as temperatures climb, as spring winds build in the Southwest, and if spring rainfall is scarce in mountain areas.

In the North, Midwest and Pacific Northwest areas, spring rains typically provide sufficient moisture for awakening lawns. Avoid the temptation to water as a means of greening up grass. Let it green up naturally and irrigate only if rains are scarce and grass shows signs of dehydration.

Edge beds

The soft soil in early spring makes edging beds a cinch. Use a half-moon edger or a sharp garden spade to cut a 2- to 3-inch deep, V-shaped trench along your beds. This’ll show your lawn where it stops and your garden and landscape areas begin. Boundaries are important. Recut it as needed throughout the growing season, using a string trimmer. Toss any weed-free material you might dig out onto planting beds as mulch or add it to your compost pile.

Apply mulch

Once the soil has warmed, refresh your mulch. Shredded mulch provides a polished finish to planting beds, but it also helps prevent weed growth by blocking access to the sun. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer around your plants. Don’t put mulch on top of your plants.

Get your lawn mower ready for the season

A lawn mower works hard during the gardening season. Before it’s time to start mowing, have your mower serviced? Technicians will check the starter, air filter, belts, spark plug, and battery. They’ll also make sure the blade is sharp. Dull mower blades rip grass instead of cutting it, leaving a ragged cut that is vulnerable to diseases. Keep your mower clean through the season with a concentrated spray from a cleaning nozzle.

Trim the trees

“It’s hard to tell if a tree has dead branches unless you get up into it,” Laflamme says. If dead branches are left untended, they can fall, causing property damage and potential injury. Consider hiring a tree trimmer to do a “safety prune” once every three years — ideally before the leaves come out, when it’s easier to see the condition of the branches.

Pruning

Now that spring is here, pruning is a necessary element in the landscape maintenance process. It is essential for many reasons, which include easing freeze damage, promoting fresh growth, and eliminating any safety issues such as roadway and sidewalk visibility. 

Focus on fixing the damage the cold has left behind. For plants that received extensive damage from this winter, it is necessary to prune the burned leaves and stems back to a few inches above the ground. Proper pruning also helps promote recent growth, and now is the best time to perform such pruning, which is also called spring rejuvenation pruning. 

Finally, get ready to enjoy spring with a beautiful and healthy landscape.