It is easy to tell when spring has arrived when the flowers start blooming, critters reappear, and we all start sneezing from the high pollen count. But determining when to get started on your spring lawncare can be a little bit more difficult.
Figuring out the exact timing of spring lawn care tasks is typically determined based on the climate in your area, which can be difficult here in the Midwest with ever-changing temperatures.
You don’t want to wait too long to get started, but you’ll want to be pretty sure that you’ve had your last deep freeze or winter snow. So, when the days start warming up, start thinking about what you can knock out to get your lawn looking fresh and healthy.
1. Clean Up, Dethatch and Rake
Clean up twigs and other debris that have settled in over the winter. These not only block fertilizers and other materials, but they seriously clog up your lawnmower. Sure, you can always knock that debris out but there is a chance that all those twigs will cause serious damage to your mower.
You will also then want to dethatch, meaning you want to not only rake up the layers of leaves but also the top layer of grass. This thick, dead layer of grass prevents the fresh green vegetation from coming out and is referred to as a thatch. Raking will also remove any patches of snow mold which causes grass blades to stick together.
2. Feed and fertilize your growing lawn
Regardless of whether or not you fertilized in the fall, it is time to do so again in the spring. You’ll want to first overseed by laying new seed over existing grass to fill in any bare patches.
You can then overseed use fertilizer which should be done lightly. If you go too heavy with it, you can end up causing disease and weed problems. To help the new grass grow you can first lay slow-releasing fertilizer when you lay the seed and then quick-release about five weeks after.
3. Prevent and kill the weeds
To kill and prevent any weeds you will want to use a combination of pre-emergent and weed killer. Some companies sell these together to minimize the time and money you are spending on this.
Follow the directions for these products and you’re guaranteed to clear out weeds while feeding the lawn. You can also remove any weeds by hand to help move the process along.
4. Mulch the Flower Beds
Any areas not covered in grass you will want to mulch. This should be done in heavy layers with a high quality, heavy mulch once the sun has had a chance to warm the soil.
Add a 2-3-inch layer around your plants for best results. This not only prevents weed growth by blocking their access to the sun, but also provides a polished finish to your planting beds to match your green lawn.
5. Warm Up the Mower
You may be eager to mow your lawn, but before breaking out the lawnmower and weedeater you’ll want to tune them up and ensure they are ready for use. Check the user manual for any tips on cleaning and de-winterizing.
You will also want to change the oil and spark plug before filling them up with a fresh tank of gas. After this they will be ready to go, but keep in mind that they may have a hard time running if they have been stored in a cold environment. Allow them to warm up first by leaving them in the sun and then they should be ready to rock.
6. Mow High and Often
Throughout the first few weeks of the spring season, you will want to mow every five days to ensure your grass grows back thicker and fuller than ever.
It’s a good idea to set your mower deck on the highest possible setting. The best rule of thumb to follow is that you should only remove one-third of the total grass blade a time, this will be determined by how often you mow and your type of grass, but for most lawns this means the mower should be on the highest setting.
Wildcat Tool Rental can help with your spring lawncare preparation. We have the tools you need to fertilize, dethatch, aerate, and grow your lawn to its full potential. Give us a call today for advice on getting your lawn looking luscious for its warm weather debut.