With the weather turning and spring rapidly approaching it's time to start thinking about your lawn once again.
We wanted to give you five suggestions to help your turf shake off its winter slumber and give you the best chance at a beautiful lawn this year.
1. Core aeration
Spring and fall are the ideal time for core aeration. If you did not have aeration done in the fall it is highly recommended to have it done this spring. Core aeration is the mechanical removal of cores of thatch and soil from your turf grass. Aeration plays an important role in: Reducing soil compaction, enhancing soil water uptake, improving fertilizer uptake and use, and improving the air exchange between the soil and atmosphere.
2. Pre-emergent crabgrass control
Early spring is the time to apply a pre-emergent crabgrass control herbicide. Crabgrass germinates when soil temperatures are between 57 and 64 degrees (generally late March/early April). For best results your crabgrass pre-emergent should be applied in this time window. Preventing the growth of undesirable grass will improve the overall aesthetics of your lawn and it will also reduce the competition your turf grass has for key nutrients. Note: Make sure not to apply pre-emergent herbicide to turf areas that you plan to over seed this spring as commonly used herbicides are non selective.
3. Spring fertilization
As turf grass comes out of dormancy having available nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K) is essential and should be applied in late March/early April alongside your crabgrass preventative. Spring fertilizer will: stimulate the lawn's root and plant growth, accelerate the transition between dormancy and warm season growth, and help with the recovery from winter damage. A good spring fertilizer will have high nitrogen content with a minimum of 25% being non water soluble (slow release).
4. Spring Cleanup
Cleaning up piles of sodden debris left over from melting snow piles and other winter activity not only improves the overall aesthetics of your property but also eliminates safe havens for Typhula and Microdochium ( the fungi responsible for the snow mold turf disease). Clearing debris from your yards surface will promote a more uniform transition to warm season growing as well as aid in overall turf health.
5. Overseeding Damaged Areas
As a rule fall is the best time for lawn overseeding but inevitably snow plows and salt take a toll on turf creating damaged areas that can be repaired with spring overseeding. Grass seed needs good contact with soil so make sure the area that is being seeded is free of debris and thatch. New seed benefits greatly from fertilizer but make sure you do not apply pre-emergent herbicide to the seeded area.