Spring has taken its sweet time to arrive for most of the U.S. If you live in the more northern states like Minnesota, Wisconsin or Michigan, you may be thinking that spring may never arrive since these areas still have snow. Receiving some snow at this time of year is not uncommon for these folks.
Even the lawns in the warmer parts of the U.S. are greening up at a much slower rate than normal. Warm season turfgrasses such as Bermuda or Zoysia, often turn brown during the winter months and don’t begin to start growing until temperatures are consistently above 70 degrees. There have been warm days, but not enough in a row to get these grasses to start growing again.
Tips to Prepare Your Lawn For Spring
Except for the lawns in the great white north, there are still plenty of things that you can do for your lawn and landscape to get a jump start on the year. The first thing to do is to take a walk around your lawn and look for any areas where the grass may be matted down.
This can be the result of foot traffic across the lawn, excessive levels of snow or even some snow mold that may have developed in the late winter of early spring. For the most part, lightly raking the area to fluff up the grass is all that is necessary. Be sure to wait until the lawn has dried out some before raking. Raking wet turf could result in pulling out the new growth.
You can also check your lawn mower, power equipment, and gardening tools in case they need to be repaired or replaced.
Should I Core Aerate My Lawn This Spring?
Core aerating your lawn in the spring is a good thing to do, but the timing is important. For warm season areas, it is best to wait until the turf has begun to turn green. The roots grow best when temperatures are between 80˚ to 95˚ F. The roots of warm season grasses are growing the most in the spring when soil temperatures are between 75˚ to 85˚ F.
For cool season grasses, such as Perennial Ryegrass and Bluegrass, roots grow the best when temperatures are between 60 to 75˚ F and roots grow best when soil temperatures are between 50 to 65˚ F. Core aeration for cool season grasses can be performed on the lawn now, but it is best to wait a couple more weeks before aerating warm season grasses.
Most lawns don’t need to be seeded in the spring. Even a thinning lawn will improve dramatically over the next couple of months. Also, if a lawn is seeded in the spring, it will be difficult if not impossible to control annual grassy weeds like crabgrass or to control germinating broadleaf weeds like dandelions.
Spring fertilization is also important to get your lawn off to a good start and “wake up” from dormancy. Contact your local neighborhood lawn care professional at Spring-Green to schedule your important spring fertilization treatment for a green, healthy turf this season. Be sure to learn more about our additional services, such as core aeration, that we have to offer to help you enjoy your lawn and landscape this spring!