More than three-quarters of Americans who have a yard, which is around 76%, say that their yard is one of the most important features of their home. A lawn has become much more than just a place that looks good.
Now, homeowners are using their yards as work-from-home spaces, as well as spaces to relax or have fun with their families. They will even eat dinner in their yards and watch movies.
Because of this shift, more people are willing to put money into their yard space and use lawn care tips and tricks. Not only do they want it to look pretty, but it also needs to be a functional and calm space.
One of the most important parts of lawn care is prepping for the spring and summer seasons. If you want to keep your yard looking nice, read our guide below for some tips on prep.
1. Use a Lawn Aerator
If the grass on your lawn seems compacted down, you may need to use a lawn aerator. This can often happen if you get a lot of traffic in your yard, such as with kids running and playing.
Aeration opens up areas of your lawn to allow water and air to get into the soil and roots. Generally, lawn aerating in spring is discouraged because it creates aeration holes that are perfect for weeds to germinate.
Yet, if you see moss growing in your yard, or your soil is so compacted that the grass can’t grow, you may be forced to aerate in the spring. If this is the case, try to do so around Memorial Day, which is generally when weeds begin growing.
You can rent a lawn aerator at a home improvement store if you have a larger yard, or you can use a hand aerator for a smaller yard.
2. Rake Thoroughly
One of the most crucial lawn care tips you’ll find is deeply raking your yard. This is an essential task to do at the beginning of spring, once you find everything turning green and your grass and plants take root.
Raking the soil in your yard will help prepare the land for new growth. This can help to remove thatch in your yard, which is dead turfgrass tissues that get lodged between the grass and root system.
Raking thoroughly can help break up any remaining turfgrass that was created during the last season.
Rather than using a rake with stiff metal tines, go with a more flexible leaf rake to break up the thatch.
3. Assess Your Soil
When looking for lawn care tips to get ready for spring, you’ll find assessing the acidity of your soil is essential. This is particularly true if you find any moss in your yard.
Moss is a sign of acidic soil, which can decrease the number of nutrients found in the soil and can create harmful elements.
To find the acidity level of your soil, you’ll need to send in a soil sample to your local cooperative extension office. They will test the soil for you and provide you with information on how to get your soil back to a neutral pH level.
Generally, this will require applying a certain amount of limestone to your soil using a fertilizer drop spreader.
4. Tune Up Your Mower
Early spring is the perfect time to service your lawnmower, ensuring it will last you through the summer.
It isn’t enough just to fill it with gas. You’ll want to tune it up, especially if you haven’t used it since last winter.
Change the oil, spark plug, and air filters. Remove any dirt or grass clippings from the undercarriage, and clean out the top. Always remember to remove the spark plug before cleaning around the blades.
Sharpen the blades, or replace them if they have tons of nicks or chips. This will cause you less work, as dull blades don’t work as efficiently.
Lastly, charge the battery and fill the tank with gas. You’ll be glad you did when the springtime mowing season starts.
If you’d rather not do all of this work yourself, you can always take it into a shop and have them do it for you. Be prepared to pay a costly price for this service, however.
While you’re at it, it’s also a great time to ensure your sprinklers work. Test them all, and call a professional if you think they need to be repaired or replaced.
5. Address Bare Patches
Bare patches are a very common occurrence, and there are lawn care strategies you can use to combat them. One of the most common is to overseed.
While overseeding is usually done in the fall, it is often necessary to do it in the springtime too. Bare patches can be caused by dog spots, neglect, or heavy traffic, and winter is a popular time for these bare patches to appear.
To overseed, you apply seeds all over your yard, not just on the bare spots. This will encourage thick and healthy grass to grow all over and will introduce new grass seeds to your current grass.
When you overseed on the bare patches, apply a nitrogen fertilizer that has a slow-release feature.
It is imperative that you keep the new seed consistently damp and moist for about five weeks. This will encourage fast and healthy growth.
After that five-week period, you can use a regular fertilization routine to take care of the new seed.
6. Use Fertilizer
Fertilizing your lawn is an essential part of prepping your lawn, as it can give you that jumpstart your plants need so you can start to see them thrive.
You have many different options for fertilizer, ranging from homemade to store-bought. If you prefer a more natural fertilizer, you can use compost or chopped-up lawn clippings. However, these will not get you the fast-acting results that the store-bought chemical fertilizer would.
It is recommended that you do only light fertilization in the spring and a more thorough one in the fall. Too much fertilizer in the spring can cause a weed infestation or lead to plant disease, and your yard is likely to have some leftover fertilizer from your fall session.
7. Water Properly
To achieve the healthiest grass, you need to water your lawn properly. If you’re searching for lawn care tips to get ready for summer, this is one of the most essential ones.
Research the basic lawn water needs, and call your local water authority to see what they recommend in terms of irrigation. It is best to water your lawn deeply and infrequently.
Watering it too much can cause just as much damage as watering it not enough, so it is essential to set up a schedule to keep your grass as healthy as possible.
8. Prevent and Prepare for Weeds
Spring and summer bring tons of growth, which is generally a good thing. Yet, when it comes to weeds, this fact can be a considerable nuisance.
To prevent and prepare for weeds, find products you can use to help spray and kill any crabgrass, clover, dollarweed, or general weeds that are creeping up around your lawn.
It’s also a good time to look for an insect infestation your yard may be home to, such as fire ants. There are many products you can find that are specifically designed to target these issues.
9. Clean Up
When you’re thinking of lawn prep, you may forget that you need to clean up before actually addressing your grass and soil.
Winter is a time when most things get neglected, which is often true for items such as debris in your yard, toys, dog droppings, and litter in general.
When starting your spring prep, make sure to consider the time it will take you to clean everything up. This is a great time to throw away or get rid of anything that isn’t being used so that you can make room for your new equipment and spring decorations.
Prep for the Warm Seasons With These Lawn Care Tips and Tricks
Prepping your lawn for different seasons can seem like a big undertaking, especially if you are a first-time lawn owner. Yet, it doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if you use these lawn care tips and tricks.
Make your life easier, and don’t wait until the last minute. Lawn care prep is essential because it stops problems before they happen. If you need additional assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional.
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