Prepping Your Chicago
When spring is in the air, you'll see the first crocuses or daffodils return, marking the coming of the season. These signs should also signal to you that it's time to get your lawn ready for the growing season.
Here are eight tasks you should complete in the spring to foster a healthy lawn.
Raking is the first thing you need to do when getting your lawn ready for new growth. It's a good idea to remove the grass blades that died over the winter to prevent that dead grass turning into a thatch layer that chokes out new growth.
- Use a flexible leaf rake rather than a stiff metal one, which could damage young plants.
- Look out for matted patches of lawn caused by snow mold, raking can solve this problem.
AERATE IF NECESSARY
If soil is compacted to the point that existing grass can't grow, it may be necessary to aerate in the spring.
- Generally, spring aerating is discouraged because the aeration holes provide a perfect spot for weed seeds to germinate.
- If you must aerate in the spring, consider doing it around Memorial Day, after weeds have started growing but before they go to seed.
ASSESS THE SOIL
Contact your local county extension office to perform a soil test to figure out your soils pH levels. All you have to do is call, check on their website, or visit your local extension office, and they can advise you on what you'll need.
Although typically done during autumn, spring overseeding is needed at times. Overseeding is the process of sowing seed over existing grass.
- Apply a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer (starter fertilizer).
- Keep the new seed moist until it is actively growing.
Lawns can be fertilized by topdressing with compost or using a mulching mower to chop lawn clippings into a nourishing source of nitrogen. Scotts Miracle-Gro Company also provides a widely accepted schedule for fertilizing lawns that includes a spring feeding.
- A lighter feeding in spring and a heavier one in late fall for cool-season grasses is recommended.
- Too much fertilizer in spring can lead to disease and weed problem.
- If you fertilized in late fall, then your lawn still has fertilizer to feed on in spring.
APPLY PRE- EMERGENT HERBICIDE
For those who prefer weed-free lawns, spring lawn care is as much about weed prevention as it is about fostering healthy lawn growth.
BONUS TIPS WHEN APPLYING:
- To fight crabgrass, you may need to apply both pre and post emergent herbicide.
- Don't plan on doing any core aeration until the fall.
- Wait until early fall to do your overseeding with turfgrass seed.
The best way to apply chemical herbicides is spot-spraying weeds rather than over-spraying the entire lawn. There are also A variety of weed-popper tools to help you manually pull out weeds.
APPLY POST-EMERGENT HERBICIDE
(OR PULL SPRING WEEDS)
SERVICE THE LAWN MOWER
Spring also means it's time to get out the lawn mower and give it a once over. Start it up; stubborn start-ups are a sign that it might be due for a tune-up.
- Among the key tune-up tasks is ssharpening the mower blade.
- Give your mower a tune-up once a year.
Whether it is weekly maintenance, colorful annuals for a party, or a spruce up for a special occasion, we’re here to care for your garden and lawn for years to come. Here at American Gardens we develop your custom maintenance plan, schedule appropriate services, and assign an Account Manager to your property.