Dead grass and lawn clippings accumulate and get matted down into thatch. While some thatch protects the roots, a half inch or more prevents moisture and nutrients from reaching the the soil and promotes fungal growth. Dethatch the lawn by giving it a good once-over using either a dethatching rake.
To grow a great lawn, you need good soil. Most grass varieties thrive in conditions that are neither acidic nor alkaline. To test your soil's pH, you can either send a sample to your local extensions office, or if you'd prefer to do it yourself, your local gardener should have cheap test kits.
After being neglected all winter long, your lawn could use a thorough spring cleaning. With your rake and pruning tools in hand, fully examine your property and assess the state of your lawn. Look closely for any plants that didn't survive and discard twigs and leaves that may be compacting the grass. Lastly, don't forget to prune your trees and bushes as well.
Related: 10 Ways to Wake Up Your Yard for Spring
High traffic patches of lawn can become compacted and inhospitable to grass roots. In order to alleviate the compaction, manual or mechanical aeration is necessary. This process involves perforating the soil with small holes to give the roots room to spread and allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the soil.
Preventative treatment is your best bet for a weed-free lawn all season. Apply a pre-emergent herbicide early to tackle weeds before they even sprout. If it's already too late, try using a post-emergent herbicide designed to kill growing weeds. For an alternative, chemical-free weed treatment, try cornmeal gluten.
Related: Top 5 Tips for a "Greener" Lawn
Check for any bare patches of ground and plant grass seeds. Planting grass in the spring requires a lot of watering and weeding during the hot summer months, so reseed in moderation. Also keep in mind that, once fall comes, you'll most likely have to seed again.
Check the performance of your outdoor equipment before lawn season is in full swing and perform basic maintenance now. Sharpen blades, change the oil, replace the air filter, and take your machine for a professional tune-up, if necessary. Finally, make sure you have enough fuel on hand in time for the first grass-cutting of the year.
Related: Need a New Lawn Mower? 10 Top-Rated Grass Guzzlers
Spring Spruce Up
Follow these spring lawn care tips for a lush yard.
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