How Do I Care for My Lawn?
Effective spring lawn care is all in the timing. With the transitioning seasons and blooms, it’s easy to over or under-do your spring lawn care steps. Although you might identify as an expert residential landscaper, you can weed, water, and mow your lawn correctly and still experience a struggling lawn. Whether you partner with professionals like Arbeen Landscaping or attempt spring lawn care on your own, you must provide the correct care for your grass. In this article, we’ll discuss classic lawn care mistakes, grass treatment tips and tricks, and beginner strategies for lawn care.
Avoid These Spring Lawn Care Mistakes
Lawn care for beginners may look different than professional lawn care by experts. Experts know how to carefully navigate spring lawn care around landscape lighting, melting snow, and so forth. For those still learning how to care for their lawn, here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid and self-correct:
Not Fertilizing the Lawn
Thriving grass relies on a variety of nutrients in the soil. As you mow, the soil nutrients slowly deplete. To replace the nutrients and maintain healthy grass, you must add fertilizer. However, most individuals don’t fertilize frequently or use the correct type of fertilizer. For example, since Chicago is in the North, you would feed your soil in the fall and spring.
Aerate Your Lawn Too Early or Late
Aeration is another effective grass treatment preventing mold growth and thatch build-up. Most mistakes occur when beginners aerate dry, hard soil. Aerators cannot penetrate the soil deeply in this state. Instead, we advise watering your lawn first to soften the ground, then aerating it.
You should water your lawn in the early morning, as this is the best time to avoid excess water. Watering in the sun will dry the grass and decrease the chance of diseases spreading. Lawn diseases spread when excess wetness leaks into the soil and over-soaks it. If you discover your lawn may be too wet, reach out to experts like Arbeen Landscaping, who routinely access and install soil drainage systems.
Not Mowing Enough
While many homeowners routinely mow once a week or on a set schedule, spring lawns require a unique schedule. With fast lawn growth in the spring, you may need to mow every four to five days.
Grass Treatment Tips and Tricks
The spring season also marks fresh blooms, buzzing insects, and changing soil beds. Melting snow and thawing plants add to the impending transition from winter to spring. Caring for your lawn can seem like an unnecessary extra step with all these transitioning elements. However, caring for your lawn is a vital step to ensuring the rest of your landscape elements remain healthy as well.
The timing of spring lawn care depends on when the last snow melts in your region – for some, it’s early March, while for others, it’s late April. Before spring, you should complete specific tasks to maintain the health of your lawn. For a thriving lawn this season, remember the following grass treatment checklist.
Raking serves as the first step when practicing lawn care for beginners. To prep your lawn and encourage new growth, start with raking your lawn. Raking in early spring removes thatch that has become greater than half an inch in depth. Thatch builds up over winter as roots and stems have not yet decomposed. Too much thatch can prevent adequate soil fertilization or aeration.
Use a leaf take to clean up the thatch gently. As you rake, you might notice matted grass blades sticking together. These blades are a sign of snow mold. To avoid this lawn disease, clear your property of any significant now build-up regularly.
Access the Soil
Grass treatments will only have a little effect if the soil acidity remains too high or too low. Grass grows in neutral conditions, meaning it prefers a neutral pH. Moss growth can occur if your soil has an acidic pH. To rebalance the soil, you can add limestone to lift the acidity from the ground.
Soil that has too much alkaline may also cause issues. Consider compost or sulfur to lower the soil’s pH. Better yet, we recommend hiring a reputable landscaping service that works with differing soil pHs.
Heavy walking traffic can easily compact your soil. Aeration is critical to maintaining a healthy winter and spring lawn. Given all the snow packed on top of your soil, preventing oxygen from reaching it in the winter, you should provide extra air for your grassroots to grow. Use spades to create tiny holes for seed planting. While spring is not the ideal time for aeration since the aeration holes provide spots for weeds seeds to grow, you need to find the right timing for aeration.
If you need to aerate a lawn for a larger property, we recommend reaching out to professionals for spring lawn care services. Professionals know how to safely use equipment like motorized aerators for larger landscaping properties.
As a rule of thumb for lawn care for beginners, always fertilize your lawn. You can choose organ fertilization methods using composts or mulching. Or, you can choose chemical fertilizers that require set schedules for the best effects.
Experts recommend using lighter fertilizers in the spring, and heavier ones in the fall. Weed problems and lawn disease can occur when you use too much fertilizer in spring.
Most residential and commercial properties prefer weed-free lawns. Even those following lawn care for beginners know weeds prevent healthy lawn growth. Depending on whether the weeds in your lawn are annuals or perennials, you would use a pre-emergent or post-emergent herbicide.
Pre-emergent herbicides are best for fighting weeds such as crabgrass. Crabgrass grows in moderate spring temperatures. Pre-emergent herbicides stop weeds before the seeds can grow, as they form a chemical barrier in the soil’s top layer to prevent shoot growth.
Did you know that dandelions are weeds? In fact, dandelions are perennials common in the springtime. To rid your lawn of weeds such as these, either pull them out by their roots using weed-popper tools or post-emergent herbicides. When choosing which grass treatment to use for post-emergent herbicides, get one designed for broadleaf weeds.
Saving Spring Lawns With Arbeen Landscaping
If you’re new to spring lawn care steps, ensuring your grass remains healthy might seem tedious. While you can follow our steps to saving your lawn this spring, we recommend partnering with experts who know the fine details of spring lawn care. Whether you wish to avoid thatch build-up or snow mold after the winter season, or aren’t sure which fertilizer is best for your grass, Arbeen Landscaping can help. For commercial properties, we provide landscaping design and maintenance services. Contact us today to find out how you can improve the health of your lawn with our services.