As spring turns the corner and we start shipping out sod, it's important to take steps for a spring green up. Keep in mind that many cool season grasses take a while to come out of dormancy and turn their beautiful shade of green. This typically doesn't happen until we have consistent temperatures into the 60's and soil temperatures are in the 50's. You can still lay sod, but expect it to take a little longer to green up. The advantages of warm spring rains and natural irrigation will help root establishment and allow you to focus on other areas of your lawn. Use early spring to take care of your lawn equipment to make summer mowing a breeze!
Things to keep in mind:
Lawn Equipment: Sharpen the blade and tune up your lawn mower:
-Change oil at the beginning of every season
-Replace or clean the spark plug
-Replace or clean the air filter
Avoiding Weeds: Spring is the best time to prevent weeds by using a pre-emergent weed control; preventing weed seeds from germinating. Your first application of a pre-emergent herbicide should occur when the threat of frost is gone. That should stop crabgrass and other weeds before they have a chance to grow. Pre-emergent herbicides should last about 3 month, so plan your second application during the summer.
Mowing: Begin as soon as your lawn needs it but try not to cut off more than 1/3 of the blade's length at a time.
Aeration: Unless your lawn is heavily compacted, this is something that could wait until fall. If you do need to aerate, wait until you have mowed at least 2-3 times to ensure that your lawn is growing fast enough to recover from the aeration.
Watering: Hopefully you won't need it this spring but once your grass starts growing, you’ll need to make sure your lawn gets at least 1” of water per week.
Fertilizing: Try to avoid heavily fertilizing your lawn in the spring. Heavier fertilizer applications do the best when done in the peak growing season, fall. Cool season grasses typically require 4 applications annually: Mother's Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and a fall application.