Basic Steps to Follow for Amazingly Easy Albuquerque Spring Lawn Care
The first crocuses and daffodils to bloom in the springtime herald the arrival of warmer weather. These harbingers also indicate that you should start preparing your yard. When you should tend to your grass can vary depending on the local climate. If snow is expected, wait until you know it has stopped falling before beginning. The flowering of local forsythia or lilac shrubs might be used as a signal to commence landscaping projects. To ensure a lush and green lawn throughout the year, there are a few chores that homeowners in most areas should tackle in the spring. Create a to-do list comprising these actions, and you will be off to a sustainable beginning. The first step in getting your grass ready for new growth is raking. There may be a few leaves on the ground but raking in the early spring is mostly done to get rid of thatch that is thicker than half an inch.
Thatch, what’s that?
Thatch is a buildup of last year’s dead turfgrass. A thin layer of mulch protects the soil by keeping moisture and nutrients in, whereas a thicker one is negative for the health of your grass. Doing this is like giving your yard a thorough spring cleaning. Wait until the lawn greens up, which indicates the grass blades are securely established. The plants are actively developing, as turfgrasses are delicate and sensitive in the early spring. Raking deeply but gently using a flexible leaf rake will help break up stubborn thatch. Snow mold, a lawn disease, may be at fault if you see several grass blades stuck together. Raking can help remove the mats that prevent new grass from accessing these areas.
If necessary, add some air.
Soil compaction can occur if there is a lot of foot activity on your lawn, such as when children repeatedly play in the same area. The holes produced by the lawn aerator allow water and air to reach the grassroots. A lawn aerator may be rented from a home improvement warehouse, or a manual aerator can be used on a small lawn. Although spring isn’t the best season to aerate the grass, it may be necessary in some cases. You may need to aerate your lawn in the spring if the soil is so compacted that the grass where it is now won’t grow. Spring aeration is often not recommended since the holes created by the process are ideal environments for germinating weed seeds. The seeds of lawn weeds (particularly crabgrass) sprout early in the spring, and aerating the lawn boosts establishment. If you must aerate in the spring, wait until after the weeds have begun growing but before they go to seed (around Memorial Day) to do so.
Moss covering the ground is another indicator of acidic soil that should be considered. Soil acidity and alkalinity may be assessed using the pH scale, with 7 indicating neutrality. Soils with a pH lower than seven are considered acidic, whereas those with more than seven are considered alkaline. The ideal pH for grass is 7, and moss development is possible if your soil is much beyond this range. Soil pH may be adjusted to a more favorable range for grass growth by applying several different soil amendments. Some acidic soils can be made more alkaline by adding ground limestone. On the downside, the effects of the liming work slowly over time, so this is a short-term remedy.
Send a soil sample to the cooperative extension office first to find out your soil’s acidity before you add amendments. The cooperative extension office is a public service that helps people in agriculture, horticulture, and more by providing them with free, unbiased information based on scientific research. They can tell you the amount of lime you need per square foot of your phone, browse their website, or go to your local extension office. To spread the lime, you’ll need a fertilizer drop spreader. Lawn issues can also be brought by too alkaline soil. If you have excessively alkaline soil, your extension service may suggest applying a top dressing of compost or elemental sulfur.
When dog spots, foot activity, or neglect have left parts of the lawn bald, grass seed may be needed to restore the lawn’s appearance. Grass already established can be “overseeded” by sprinkling new seeds on top. When overseen, use a fertilizer with slow-release nitrogen (starter fertilizer). If you plant a fresh seed, water it regularly until it begins to sprout. At the five-week mark, after the grass has germinated and sprung, you may apply quick-release nitrogen fertilizer according to standard protocol. Although it is feasible to oversee only the dry areas, reseeding the entire lawn every few years is more typical to keep it looking full and healthy. Alternatively, you may use this method to sow several kinds of grass seed onto your lawn. Overseeding with a sunny-grass mix, for instance, can allow a lawn that had previously relied on shade trees to thrive after their removal. Overseeding is best performed in the fall, but if your grass needs treatment, you may apply it in the spring. Crabgrass will likely sprout in response to the fertilizer and must be managed.
A mulching mower may turn your grass clippings into a nutrient-rich top dressing for your lawn. If you prefer the quick results of chemical fertilizer, however, you can follow the generally established plan for fertilizing lawns that Scotts Miracle-Gro gives. For cool-season grasses, however, several specialists advise a lesser feeding in the spring and a heavier one in the late fall. Fertilizing your lawn too much in the spring might encourage the growth of disease and weeds, but if you treat your lawn in the late fall, it will still have some fertilizer to use.
Use Herbicides Before They Grow. In
Some people would rather not have weeds in their lawns, so weed control is just as important as promoting healthy lawn growth in the spring. All weeds in a lawn cannot be eliminated with the same strategy. Pre-emergent herbicides are used before weed seeds even germinate, whereas post-emergent herbicides are used after the weeds have already sprouted. Crabgrass is an annual weed that might be difficult to eliminate without using both methods. During the spring, when temperatures stay in the 60s and 70s for many days, crabgrass begins its attack on lawns. Weeds are eliminated before they ever have a chance to germinate by using pre-emergent herbicides. They stop seeds from sprouting by coating them with a chemical seeping into the soil below. Plan on conducting any core aeration until autumn if you use pre-emergent herbicides. The weed killer won’t work if you poke holes in the barrier. Remember that pre-emergent herbicides are typically effective against grass seeds as well. The application of a conventional pre-emergent herbicide reduces the effectiveness of overseeding. Overseeding with turfgrass seed should be put off until early fall in years when pre-emergent weed killer is being used.
Unless your grass is severely overrun, it is better to only spray individual weeds with chemical herbicides instead of dousing the entire lawn with the stuff. Spot-treating may seem like a hassle, but it becomes a breeze if you get started in the spring before the first mowing. After each mowing, a few minutes of spot-spraying (or weed-pulling) can keep your grass looking excellent all season.
To Use Herbicides After Weeds Have Sprung Or Pull Spring Weeds
Dandelions are hardy perennials that initially bloom in the spring, with bright yellow blossoms that are both joyful and unyielding. Stop this plant from producing more of itself by snipping off its flowering stalks. Or, if you’re feeling very adventurous, dig them out by the roots and use a tool that will remove the entire root so it can’t re-grow. It’s possible to find several effective weed-popper instruments on the market. The best post-emergent pesticide to use on dandelions is one made for broadleaf weeds. Dandelion greens can be picked by hand for those with a green thumb who like to keep their lawns chemical-free. Chickweed, white clover, and wild violets are some more weeds you may see in the spring, but they typically show up later in the season and during the summer after the dandelions have already died down.
Take the Lawnmower in for Repairs
With the arrival of spring comes the annual ritual of pulling out the mower and giving the grass a once-over. Turn it on; if it’s difficult to turn on, it may need to be serviced. Perform annual maintenance on your mower. Three simple actions can restore your mower to peak performance. If a tune-up doesn’t fix your lawnmower’s problems, it could be time to replace it. Mower blade sharpening is an essential part of maintenance. By sharpening the blade regularly, you may avoid damaging the grass plants and creating a patchy brown lawn instead of a lush green one.