Ah, spring, that wonderful time of year when the days grow longer and hotter, the flowers begin to bloom, and lawn maintenance begins to ramp up. If you find yourself fretting over the lawn chores ahead, take a deep breath and relax. While your lawn will thank you for some thoughtful care, this quick primer will teach you how to care for your landscaping in Palm Bay this spring.
Mow Like a Pro
Maintaining a healthy, happy lawn starts with good mowing practices. Always mow at two-and-a-half to three inches of length. Mowing too short will result in shallow root growth which will leave your lawn susceptible to drought and pests. If rapid growth has left you with overly-long grass, make sure you never mow more than one-third the height of the leaf blades in one go. Even if it takes you a couple of mowings to get your grass back to the level you want it at, it’s worth the extra effort. Cutting too much too fast can result in unhealthy and stressed-out turf.
Keeping mower blades sharp is another trick to help preserve your lawn’s health. Dull blades tear grass instead of cutting and can make it harder for the turf to recover from a trim. Mow only when the grass is dry and leave your clippings where they land to return some nutrient to the soil. If there’s clumping, wait till the clumps have dried in the sun, scatter them by blowing or raking.
Fertilize for Success
Once spring regrowth begins (typically February in Palm Bay), wait two weeks before you apply a complete fertilizer such as a 16-4-8 at the rate recommended. If your grass shows signs of yellowing, it may have an iron deficiency that can be treated with a ferrous sulfate spray. Applying iron every six weeks will give you the lush green color you want without the excess top growth that nitrogen fertilizers promote. You can submit an annual soil sample to your local Cooperative Extension Service to make sure that you (or your lawn care service provider) are feeding your lawn exactly what it needs to thrive.
Water deeply, not often. Your lawn will tell you when it’s thirsty. Wilted grass blades, blue-gray color, and slow bounce-back after tires or feet have tracked through means it’s time to water. Irrigate deeply so that the entire root zone is quenched– usually three-quarters of an inch will suffice. Re-water as soon as your lawn is displaying signs of thirst again. Typically every three to four days is all your lawn will need to stay hydrated and lush.
Preventive Pest Control
It’s easier to prevent pests than to get rid of them. If you’ve followed the above maintenance guidelines, your turf should be robust enough to resist pest infestations. However, even the best cared for lawns in Palm Bay can fall prey to chinch bugs, crickets, and nematodes. In most cases, a single insecticide treatment should be enough to restore order. If you’ve got a real problem on your hands, it may take a few repeat applications.
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a lawn care amateur, following these few simple guidelines is guaranteed to make your spring maintenance schedule easier. You’ll find more extensive information on caring for your lawn from the botanists and landscapers who analyze the subject all year long. Of course, your lawn care pros are always ready to help you get ready for spring before it lands on your lawn this year.
Need help tending to your lawn? Visit our Palm Bay lawn care page for more info!
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