Is Your Lawn Equipment Ready for Spring?

Spring is here! The temperatures are starting to drop, and our outdoor world is alive with the splendors that spring brings. The time has never been more urgent to review the status of your lawn to ensure it’s ready for the spring season. If you’ve been distracted with all the events that are taking place in the world today, it’s perfectly understandable. It might be time, however, to shift gears and focus on your lawn for a few moments to make sure it’s prepped and ready for the upcoming season. You’ll need to take stock of your equipment, including lawnmowers, weed whackers, edgers, gardening tools, electric power equipment, and garden hoses. Use this checklist to ensure your lawn is healthy.

Your Spring-Ready Lawn Gear Checklist

mower

1. Prep Your Lawnmower

The lawnmower has been in hibernation all winter, but now it’s time to gear up for a working season ahead. Don’t wait until the grass is in need of an overdue trim to give some attention to the lawnmower. Step one of your spring-prep checklist is to bring the mower out of the shed and follow some easy steps to shake off the winter dust. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Cleaning and De-winterization: Start by draining and replacing any old fuel in the mower before attempting to turn it on. Then do a quick inspection of basic maintenance points like the oil, spark plugs, and air filters to make sure they’re in good condition. Take a quick check of the pull cords, making sure they aren’t frayed and are in good working condition. This might be a good time to pull out the machine’s manual and check that you’ve followed all recommended maintenance protocols.
  • Warm Up Run Before the First Use: Once everything appears to be in good working order and you’ve filled up with fresh fuel, it’s the perfect time to start the engines and let your lawnmower warm up before the first cut of spring. This warm up will allow the engine to run before prolonged use and also allows you to listen for any strange sounds that might indicate a problem is brewing.
  • Common Repairs to Lookout For: Some common post-winter lawnmower repairs are generally related to chords, air filters, dirty fuel or oil, and debris buildup.These are areas to keep an eye out for as you prep your mower for spring. If you have a battery-operated mower or riding lawnmower, the battery may need to be charged or even replaced after a long winter break.
  • Lawnmower Blade Maintenance Tips: One of the most frequently asked questions lawn pros get is, “how can I tell if my lawnmower needs a new blade or just needs to be sharpened?” The rule of thumb is most mower blades will last 20-25 hours until they need to be sharpened. Overall lifetime of most blades is approximately 100-200 hours total. This number can be higher, ranging up to 400 hours, for higher quality blades. Once you’ve cleared the cuttings deck of any clippings, you can keep an eye on how well your lawnmower works on your grass.

2. Take Stock of Your Other Electric Equipment

Be sure to take a look at all your other lawn power equipment before its first spring use – not just the lawnmower. You might have a shed full of weed whackers, edgers, gardening tools, electric power equipment all ready for spring cleaning. As you dig into that packed shed, be sure to inspect your lawn equipment for signs of rust, broken parts, or frayed wires. If blades need to be replaced or sharpened, now is the perfect time.

trimmer

3. Decide to Repair or Buy New

To repair or replace, this is always the question that befuddles lawn equipment owners. The answer is usually clear when you weigh out the pros and cons, asking yourself questions such as:

  • Is my lawn equipment still under warranty?
  • Do I use this piece of equipment often?
  • Is there a newer model that offers more features?
  • Is the cost (or time required) to repair more than the worth of the equipment?

4. Get Ready for Watering

April showers bring May flowers, undoubtedly. And, as we approach the summer months, lawn watering becomes crucial to keeping everything lush, green, and healthy. Having said all this, no spring checklist could be complete without some attention to hoses and sprinklers. Here are a few best practices to follow to get yourself ready to water your lawn.

watering hose
  • De-winterize Your Gardening Hose: Follow a few easy steps to make sure your garden hoses are ready for use this spring. Unroll your hose and hook it up to the tap to ensure it’s in full working order and has not rotted or been otherwise damaged during the winter. Make sure you have enough hoses to keep your lawn hydrated and healthy this summer, keeping in mind that your lawn will need about an inch of water per week on average to remain perfectly hydrated, or about .63 gallons per square foot of grass.
  • Prep Your Sprinklers: Sprinkler systems can get damaged during winter for a myriad of reasons. Any homeowner knows how frustrating it can be to turn on the sprinkler system when the lawn is turning brown, only to find it not working properly. Your quick check to make sure all parts are working can save you frustration at a key moment later in the summer.

As the most beautiful and warmest season descends, be sure to take a few key steps to ensure you’re ready to care for your lawn. Spring-Green is, of course, here for you should need our professional services. Our team of expert technicians is standing by as your neighborhood lawn care partner with services for your lawn, landscape, pest control, and more.

Get started with Spring-Green today.

Don’t Let Drought Stress Overtake Your Lawn!

drought stress

With high temperatures and humidity during the summer months, drought will have most visible impact on lawns and landscapes. Lawns will often turn brown and without proper mowing and watering, your lawn may suffer from heat stress. Learning how you can green up your grass and tips to recover your lawn from drought will help it survive in time for fall and winter dormancy.

Symptoms of Drought Damage On Lawn

Purpling, also known as moisture stress, are the beginning stages of drought which causes the grass to turn a slight purple-like hue. The most noticeable impact of heat stress on a lawn is the brown appearance. The brown area becomes almost straw-like, entering a state of dormancy and will remain so until it gets a sufficient amount of water.  It’s also important avoid walking over the damaged area as the grass plant will not spring back up from any foot traffic on the lawn. Excess thatch layers in the lawn will experience drought stress quicker. Core Aeration will help in the fall to rejuvenate and get the lawn healthy again.

Treatment for Drought Stressed Grass

Watering

If mother nature does not bring any rain, watering the lawn will be beneficial. It’s important to replace lost moisture in a lawn, as water
weakness gives lawn diseases an easy entry. Lawns need at least 1 inch of water per week. If you cannot water your lawn one inch or more per week, you may consider getting an irrigation system to make sure your lawn and landscape is getting the necessary amounts of water at a time.

A grass plant will enter into dormancy as a defense mechanism. It shuts down all of the essential process, which is mainly the top growth, in an effort to keep the crown and root system alive. As long as the crown is alive, the plant will survive (up to 3 weeks) even if the top growth has all turned brown. You can water less if you mow high. It may take a little while to get used to, but your lawn will look better and you will use less water keeping it looking its best.

Mowing

Hot temperatures will often result in people wanting to mow short to avoid having to mow it frequently. Mowing short will actually remove the food producing part of the grass plant and will make your lawn turn brown. During the summer you want to mow high to conserve water and shade the soil.

Cool-season grasses should be mowed at 2 ½ to 3 inches from the first mowing in the spring until the end of the year. The lawn will be greener, healthier and more weed free. If this rule is followed. If you have been mowing your lawn short, by all means raise it up to the highest or second highest setting. For those who live in the Transition Zone, you should be mowing your Tall Fescue at a minimum of 3 inches. For those in the warm-season areas, Bermuda, Zoysia and Centipede may be mowed at around 1 ½, but Centipede grass grows much better when it is mowed high, at least 3 inches in height.

Adding lawn treatment and fertilizer should be pushed back if your lawn is suffering from heat stress. Although drought damage is unsightly, it is temporary until temperatures begin to cool down approaching fall. Keeping in mind best practices for mowing and watering will help your lawn recover and avoid further damage. Your neighborhood lawn care professional at Spring-Green can provide further information and recommendations to keep your lawn green and healthy during the hot summer months.

Spring Lawn Care Tips #3: Do I Need to Water My Grass in the Spring?

April showers bring May flowers. We have heard this old adage for most of our lives – and for the majority of the country, it holds true. Generally speaking, you don’t have to water your lawn in the spring. Of course, there are always those times when there is an exception to the rule.

For example, if you have reseeded your lawn or resodded an area, you will have to supply additional water beyond what Mother Nature provides. Occasionally, parts of the country go through an extended drought period that can last well into spring. The picture is the current drought map that can be accessed by going to http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/.

How Much Water Should I Use?

How much water to use depends on the type of grass in your lawn and the area in which it lives. Cool season grasses, such as bluegrass and ryegrass, have higher water requirements than warm season grasses like Bermuda grass or centipede grass. A basic rule of thumb is to supply one inch of water to your lawn per week, depending upon the weather. This is the same for cool season or warm season grasses. During the middle of a hot, dry summer, a lawn with cool season grasses may need more water whereas a warm season grass lawn can do just fine with less water.

You can train your lawn to be water efficient with careful lawn care . This is accomplished by watering deeply, but infrequently. If you water a little bit each day, your lawn will develop shallow roots as they have no need to grow deeper in search of more water. Let your lawn dry out some before watering again. The roots will grow down deeper in the soil looking for water.

When Should I Water My Lawn?

The best time of day to water is in the early morning. Watering during the heat of the day will not burn your lawn. It may not be very efficient to water at that time of day, but it is a good deal better than watering in the early evening or at night. Watering your lawn at that time can lead to an increase in disease development.

The final point on watering is to be consistent with your watering or let your lawn go dormant. Most grasses can survive with as little as 1 inch of water per month. Some warm season grasses can survive an entire summer without any water. They may not look that good, but they will still be alive.

Get more expert lawn care tips on Spring-Green.com.