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Business Owners & Managers

Tips for Spring Lawn Care – Dos and Dont’s

Spring is almost here! Lawns everywhere will be “springing” to life shortly and you’ll want to have them looking their best. Mowing is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy lawn, but there are all sorts of other “do’s and don’ts” to also remember to make sure your lawn stays healthy all throughout the season.

Mowing Your Lawn “Do’s”

  • Sharpen blades regularly – This may sound more like equipment maintenance than lawn care but it will actually help the lawn stay healthy and looking great. Using a dull blade can shred grass and cause discoloration because frayed grass blades will lose moisture rapidly. Some species of grass have rough blades and can cause mower blades to dull quickly. Make sure the blades are sharp in order to cut cleanly.

  • Use grass clippings – Recycling grass clippings can reduce water loss, lower soil temperatures, and it returns nutrients to the soil. Not only that, but you’ll save the trouble of bagging clippings.

  • Use caution on damaged grass – Raising the mower height on a lawn that has been damaged by insects, disease, or is recovering from a drought will prevent the lawn from being further damaged.

Mowing Your Lawn “Don’ts”

  • Scalping lawns – This occurs when grass has grown tall and then more than one third of the blade is cut. Combine this with mowing the grass too short can damage the lawn by cutting into the crowns of plants.

  • Cutting wet grass – Wet grass tends to clump together when it is cut. This causes brown spots to show up due to lack of oxygen getting to the grass. Cutting wilted grass can also severely damage the lawn.

  • Assuming all grass is the same – Different species of grass require different care. Some species require close mowing to stay healthy, and should these species grow too high (such as Bermuda grass) thatching may occur.

Here are some other general guidelines to follow when it comes to maintaining the lawn.

Dos:

  • Water the lawn – Most people water their lawns, but depending on the temperature, evaporation can reduce the effect of inadequate watering. A good rule is to water the lawn until the moisture is four to six inches into the ground. This ensures water will reach the root of the grass.

  • Crabgrass – Eliminate crabgrass before it becomes a problem. Crabgrass preventers should be applied in the early spring before seeds have had a real chance to sprout. These can be applied along with standard spring fertilizers so the additional effort of scheduling/applying is reduced.

  • Dandelions – For a dandelion free yard, enrich the soil with calcium. Calcium-free yards are breeding grounds for dandelions.

Don’ts:

  • Do not combat dandelions with a weed killer. Dandelions have very long taproots that can remain alive even after herbicide has been applied. The best thing to do is to dig them out by hand.

  • Don’t misapply fertilizer. Fertilizer is a great tool to help maintain the lawn, but the nitrogen in fertilizer can also burn the lawn as the temperature goes up. Use a slow release fertilizer with low nitrogen content to prevent burning.

  • Don’t try to start a new lawn from seed in the spring. This will most likely result in a constant weed battle as well as fighting summer drought. Wait until fall to start a new lawn.

Knowing how to properly care for your yard is just the first step. Ensure you have the right tools to maintain your yard all spring and summer long!