Help your lawn and yard spring to life and stay healthy
Confused about what to do and when for springtime lawn and yard care? The team at Rock Solid has created a handy (and FREE!) lawn care and landscaping planning calendar that will put you on track for yard care all season. Download a copy for guidelines from early spring lawn care and clean up to winterization.
Get off to a good start
Throughout the long winter, your lawn has stored nutrients in strong roots and is ready for a big growth spurt in spring.
One way to help this process along is by removing thatch—the old, dead debris matted around grass roots. Dethatching before grass comes out of dormancy lets air, water and nutrients permeate the soil, and promotes turf growth.
Another early season effort is to prevent the invasion of crabgrass. Apply a pre-emergent fertilizer before the soil warms up (to 55 degrees) and crabgrass starts to germinate. If this pesky weed doesn’t emerge, then it can’t spread its seeds.
Build on the basics throughout the season
- Fertilizing — Water. Sunlight. Nitrogen. “If you’re missing one of these ingredients,” says Jim Metzger, Rock Solid’s co-president, “grass is going to have a problem growing.” Once the grass emerges from its dormant state, it needs to be fed nitrogen and other nutrients. How often you reapply fertilizer before fall depends on a number of factors, including how much you water and whether grass clippings (which are a great source of natural nitrogen) remain on the lawn when you mow. A well-nourished lawn is strong enough to resist invasive weeds and drought conditions.
- Mowing — Make sure to start the season with a clean, tuned-up mower and a sharp blade. A dull blade will damage the tops of grass, leaving it susceptible to disease. The University of Minnesota Extension recommends keeping grass height at 3 inches to shade out weeds, cool the summer soil and withstand drought.
Cut only the top one-third of the grass, which means not letting the lawn grow more that 4.5 inches high—that’s mowing once a week. If you adhere to this proportion, the clippings can be left on the grass to be reabsorbed as fertilizer. Too thick a layer of clippings produces excess shade and accumulates as thatch, preventing water and nutrients from reaching the roots.
Additional spring prep around the yard
While getting your sleepy lawn off to a good start is an essential part of your outdoor action plan, it’s time to tend to your garden areas, too.
- Garden planting — Once you’ve gently removed old leaves from around shrubs and perennials that are about to bloom, and soil temperature has warmed, add colorful annuals. While it’s tempting to start planting on the first warm days, waiting until mid-May assures you won’t have to cover them to protect from overnight freezes.
- Mulching — Discourage summertime weeds and retain soil moisture by applying mulch around your plants, shrubs and trees. A six-inch layer of mulch is the general rule, so if there’s already a layer, you may need to add only an inch or two. Take care to leave space near woody stems and don’t over-apply so that plants can breathe. There are several mulching materials to choose from, as this video aptly describes:
The professionals at Rock Solid are your source for reliable advice and complete lawn care service. Free up your summer by calling: 763-398-0739. They’ll do the work so you don’t have to!