Spring Lawn Maintenance: How to Take Care of Your Lawn in Spring

Spring is definitely the most delightful season of the year. The cold humid atmosphere gives way to bright sunny days with pleasantly warm temperatures. Delight aside, it’s also the best time of the year to work on your lawn.

Why so? The extreme winter conditions greatly affect the lawn. Such effects as soil pH alteration, soil compaction and creation of ideal conditions for weeds and diseases to thrive. This leaves your lawn vulnerable, hence must be well taken care of to restore the ideal conditions and foster growth heading towards summer.

What does it take to have a beautiful green lawn that will arouse the envy of neighbors? Work, and a lot of it for that matter, more so during spring. This is what a typical spring lawn maintenance entails:

1. Liming

Grass do well in soils with a neutral pH. However, the winter conditions make the soil acidic. So, it will do you good to check the soil pH at this time. Any pH rating of less than 7 indicates acidity and liming should be done.

Lime is a base, adding it neutralizes the acid in the soil and balances off the pH.

Two tips:

  • The presence of moss plants on your lawn is an indicator acidity.
  • If fertilizing has been done recently, don’t apply lime. The chemicals may react rendering it ineffective. Separate the two chemical applications by a period of at least three weeks.  

2. Carry out lawn aeration

This is the solution for soil compaction. So, the process is preceded by soil compaction check. Compaction is characterized by densely packed soil that makes it hard for the roots of the grass to hold leaving the tougher weeds to thrive.

Testing compaction is not difficult. All you need is a garden fork. Stick the fork into the ground. If it cannot penetrate more than 5.08cm (2 inches), your soil is compacted and needs aeration to loosen it up.

It’s as simple as hiring a lawn aerator to fix it for you or fixing it yourself. If you don’t know how to go about it, then you will need to talk to your local lawn experts to sort you out.

3. Fertilizing

Just as you need food to grow well, so does your grass. Fertilizing can either be done chemically or organically. Organic fertilization is done by mulching mowers while there is an assortment of chemicals for chemical fertilizing.

Fertilizer should be applied just before the period of rapid growth. Warm-season grasses should be fertilized during spring in anticipation for the rapid growth in summer, since such grasses thrive in warm conditions.

Cold-season grass, do well in cool conditions, hence experience rapid growth during winter. Therefore, fertilizing ought to be done during fall.  

4. Clean up

During winter, debris like fallen leaves and twigs are deposited on the lawn, which, when left on for a long time may be detrimental to the health of your grass as it harbors pests and inhibits growth. So cleaning must be done at the beginning of fall, but very gently so as not to damage the tender grass shoots.

More often, the cleanup is done using rakes. For emphasis, be gentle on the grass as you do your raking.

Ensure too, that there are no snow piles left over the lawn. If there are any, spread them up to hasten the melting process. Such piles could suffocate the grass beneath the surface and cause the growth of molds.

5. Weeds control

What a better time to prevent weeds than during spring. The most effective mode of control is the use of herbicides, though there are organic options too.

  • There are two types of weed control herbicides, distinguished by their mode of operation. Preemergent herbicides prevent the germination of weed seedlings. It’s applied into the soil just as fertilizing is done.
  • Postemergent herbicides is the second type.

These herbicides are applied (through spraying) after the weed has germinated inhibiting its growth and ultimately destroying it.

You can even manually pull out the weeds, especially if they have grown big and can easily be distinguished from the grass.