Spring lawn maintenance involves a lot more than mowing, and if not taken care of quickly, dandelions and other pesky weeds can get out of hand before you know it. Here are some spring lawn care tips to help you get started.
Crabgrass spreads like crazy and can quickly take over your lawn, drawing away moisture and nutrients and resulting in a messy-looking lawn. The best defense is a thick, healthy lawn that doesn’t give weeds room to invade. If you have not yet achieved this, a pre-emergent herbicide is the way to go. The best time to apply this is when the soil temperature is about 50°F. Crabgrass loves the sun, so crabgrass prevention will also help to let your grass grow longer so that the crabgrass seeds are blocked from the sun and have less chance to germinate.
When to Fertilize
At minimum you should fertilize your lawn twice a year, in the fall and spring. Fall application fortifies roots and helps build up adequate nitrogen stores for early spring color and a healthy and vibrant lawn next year, and you won’t have to fertilize again until late spring. Spring fertilizer is also important, especially if you didn’t apply any in the fall. A couple of light applications, once in early spring when the grass starts actively growing and again around Memorial Day, will give your lawn the nutrients it needs to get through the stresses of a hot, dry summer.
Hold Off on Watering
It is best to wait until late spring or early summer to begin watering. Waiting until the weather is warm and dry to water is good for your lawn, because it stimulates roots to grow deeper to find water. Deep roots are important to help your lawn survive the hot, dry days of summer. When you do start watering, make it a deep weekly soaking to further promote root growth. The one exception is if you seeded your lawn; in that case, follow the recommended watering procedures.
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