Spring is in full force in Iowa! It is evident by the rain, the rising outdoor thermometer and the growth of all things green. It is impossible to miss the pop of color and the blooming foliage around us. Now that your lawn is turning green, you can begin working outside.
Be patient – It’s important to wait until your lawn is ready. You want to avoid heavy yard work in the spring because before the soil dries out, foot traffic and hard raking compacts and disturbs soggy soil. Grass shoots can be damaged because they are new and tender. Although you are going outside without a coat, wait until your lawn is mostly green before digging in!
Clean up – Rake gently! Before treating the grass or mowing, it’s a good idea to give your lawn a thorough raking and remove thatch. Thatch is a tightly bound layer of dead grass and can include leaves, roots and stems which can build up on the soil surface at the base of living grass. Don’t let the ongoing problem of thatch prevent your lawn from living up to its full potential.
Control weeds versus seeding and planting – Choose whether you want to control weeds OR seed your lawn. Unfortunately, you can’t do both in the same season. Pre-emergent herbicides can be active for up to 12 weeks and they can prevent grass, in addition to weeds, from sprouting. This means your window for seeding will be over. If your lawn has bare spots or you want to establish a new lawn, time your activities based on the type of grass you have.
Fertilize – You may have fertilized your lawn in the fall, meaning your lawn will still be utilizing this nutrient. As the weather gets warmer, warm season grasses will begin to soak up the nutrients – now is the time to apply a fresh layer if you didn’t in the fall.
Water – Once your grass has begun to grown, it will be thirsty for at least one inch of rain per week. Whether you’re using an in-ground irrigation system or portable sprinklers and hoses, it’s important to give your lawn the water it needs to survive.
Equipment – Before summer gets here, spring is a good time to tune up your lawn mower and sharpen its blade. If you do it now, you’ll save time and money later when the equipment is imperative for lawn upkeep.
Mow – As soon as your lawn needs it is the best time to begin mowing. Pro Tip: grass does best when you cut no more than a third of the blade’s length at one time.
What other lawn must-dos should we add to this list? Share with us how you prepare your lawn for the spring season in the comments below or on this Facebook post.