When it comes to preparing your yard for spring, there are a few things you should do to ensure that healthy looking lawn will come back. If you neglect spring lawn care, it could affect your lawn for the rest of the year.
First, the biggest task is to rake your yard. This is to remove all the thatch that can choke out new grass. Thatch build up that is more than ½ inch is considered excessive. Also, raking in spring will remove all the dead grass blades that died over the winter, which will become thatch. There may also be some spots that look like matted patches. New grass may have a tough time penetrating these areas, but raking will take care of this as well.
Next, you will want to fertilize and apply pre-emergent herbicides. Many experts recommend a lighter fertilizing in spring and a heavier one in fall, which benefits “cool-season grasses” better. If you fertilized in fall, there’s a chance your lawn is still “digesting” that when spring rolls around. Pre-emergent herbicides should go hand in hand with fertilizing. These herbicides address weeds, such as crabgrass, before the seedlings emerge. It’s a lot easier to prevent weeds before they start than it is to try to kill them once they’ve started taking over.
Another thing you can do to help your lawn is overseed. Sometimes your lawn will have some bare spots, whether it be from a dog or traffic, where grass seed is needed to fill those areas. When you overseed, you should apply a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer. Five weeks after the grass germinates, apply a quick-release nitrogen fertilizer. However, if you decide to overseed in spring, be careful. Most pre-emergent herbicides with also prevent grass seed from growing. And if you don’t put down a pre-emergent herbicide, the grass seed will have a tough time competing with crabgrass. Overseeding can be done in spring but will most likely be more effective in fall.
This may seem like a lot of work to some people, but the green grass that you will enjoy for the rest of the season will be worth it.