Lawn maintenance is not usually anybody’s idea of a good time. Weekends are usually better spent doing things like cookouts and trips to the beach. However, it is really important to take care of a lawn so you don’t have to try to revive a dead one later on down the line.
In which case you would need to switch to artificial turf Las Vegas style that doesn’t even need any maintenance at all. For those of us that don’t want the expense of having to switch to artificial, there is a list of things to do to get the lawn ready for each season. The maintenance requirements change depending on what you are preparing for.
In this article, we will go over what it takes to prepare the lawn for summer so you can get the most out of it.
1 – Start mowing
It may seem counterintuitive to start mowing the lawn before the season starts. Yet, it is a good way to get the grass in a growing mode so it begins to get full and lush as the weather begins to warm up. In the middle of spring, your lawn is starting to receive the signal that warm weather is approaching and to get ready to lay out some masses of roots.
One way to do this is to start giving it a light mow to kickstart the process. Once the blades start getting cut it signals the lawn that it is time to start growing out again. This will help to fill in thin areas and create a much more dense lawn than if you don’t do anything.
The one thing to be careful about is mowing too close to the ground. This will have the opposite effect and will actually kill your lawn before it has a chance to grow for the summer. Just mow enough for the longest setting to cut off the tips of the grass. Think of it like getting a light trim at the barber.
Then, keep up with a regular mowing schedule of about once every two weeks once the grass starts growing in. It will help you avoid cutting an out-of-control lawn later on, as well.
2 – Start feeding it
Just like humans, a lawn of grass needs nutrients to grow well. The spring is the ideal time to start feeding it with fertilizer that will get right into the roots and start a boost of growth right before the summer. This gives the lawn time to fill in and create a healthy mass of roots that will keep it robust during the dry summer.
Using a granular feed is an easy way to get the fertilizer into the lawn. Look for feed that slowly supplies the required nutrients over time. If it absorbs slowly then the nitrogen present in the feed won’t end up burning the roots of the grass. Make sure to go with the recommended amount and not overdo it. Resist the temptation to add more thinking it will give a bigger boost as the opposite will actually happen.
3 – Treat weeds and moss
The wet, dark winter was a boon for moss as it loves those conditions. Weeds also get a chance to grow when the grass goes dormant and thins out. You’ll notice these things growing around the end of winter as the spring approaches.
Take the time in the spring to get rid of both of these as they will be an obstacle to a full and thick lawn. If the problem isn’t too widespread then taking a rake and go over the area may be enough to kill the weeds and allow the grass to take over in its place.
The rake will also tear up the moss and kill it so the grass can spread into that area. Where the lawn has a lot of weeds and moss there will need to be a more intense remedy. This is when you will need to use a selective herbicide to kill the weeds and a moss killer. The moss will die and turn black and will need to be raked up. The weeds can be left in place to mulch the lawn.
Then, it’s time to overseed the lawn by spreading new grass seeds over the areas that had the moss and weeds. This will allow the grass to fill in these spots quickly.
4 – Have a watering strategy
The root system is the most important aspect of a healthy lawn. Take care of the roots and the grass grows in full and thick. Watering is one of the keys to getting the root mass sorted before the summer. It takes about an inch of water per week to allow the roots to grow densely and deep to give the grass a healthy start before the dry summer. The deeper the roots go, the more likely the grass will stay green even during dry stretches.
Make sure to water at least once a week and give it a good soak. Keep an eye on the weather as rain will also add to the amount of water. Don’t go more than an inch so if rain is forecast then skip watering that week.
5 – Aerate the lawn
A thick lawn is also its own worst enemy. The problem with very thick grass with a robust root system is that there is very little air able to penetrate the soil and provide the roots with enough oxygen. Aerating the lawn is essential in the late autumn if you have warm weather grasses like Bermuda grass. Cool-weather grasses benefit from aeration during the spring before the heat of the summer arrives.
Use an aerator that will puncture the top layer of roots close to the surface so that air can penetrate. This will get oxygen right to the roots. It also allows for better water drainage so the roots are not waterlogged which also prevents oxygenation.