Prepping your lawn for spring? Save time and hassle by booking lawn care through our New Orleans lawn care page.
So much to do, so little time. Your spring calendar might fill up with any number of things: festivals (Jazz and Voodoo Music), parades (St. Patrick’s Day and Easter), concerts (Lafayette Square and Louis Armstrong Park), biking along the Mississippi. You’re going to have to squeeze “start spring lawn care” in there somewhere. If you don’t, you’ll regret it when summer comes. Besides, it doesn’t take that long. You’ll still have time for the fun you can only find in “N’Awlins.”
Your lawn has been neglected all winter. It’s dreary. A good raking will perk it up. Clear off all the debris: dead blades of grass, matted leaves, evergreen needles, any trash that landed on it. Separate matted patches of grass to give new shoots space to grow. Use your lawn rake or a de-thatching rake to get rid of any thatch that is more than half an inch thick.
As you rake, get an idea of your lawn’s general health and determine what needs to be done.
- Identify bare spots that need sodding or seeding.
- Look for weeds that show up in the spring, e.g., dandelion. Snap off the stems before they flower and produce seed. Or dig out the roots.
- Check your trees to see if they have spread over the lawn and are going shade your sun-loving grass.
- If you see fire ants, take care of them in the spring. With other pests, you need to wait until summer.
- Find areas of compacted soil.
Photo: Christian Guthier
Compacted soil needs aeration. It’s keeping oxygen, water and nutrients from the grass roots. There are aerators that poke holes into the soil and aerators that pull plugs (cores) of grass and soil from the lawn. It’s better to use a core aerator. There are manual core aerators that you plunge into the soil, aerators that you pull behind a riding mower or ATV, and large aerators that you rent from a garden supply store. And there is always the option of having your lawn care provider take care of it.
If you’re into do-it-yourself, make sure the soil is moist when you aerate. The day after a rain shower is a good time, or after watering your lawn. Also, go over an area three to five times.
Tune Up Your Mower
Save yourself the frustration of the mower not starting up when you’re ready to give your lawn its first mowing.
- Disconnect the spark plug wire so that the mower doesn’t start accidentally.
- Change the oil.
- Change the air filter.
- Clean old clumped up grass from the undercarriage.
- Oil the undercarriage so new clippings are less likely to stick.
- Take the blade off and sharpen it.
- Replace the spark plug and reconnect the wire.
Check the Sprinklers
Photo: Jannerfer An
If you have a sprinkler system, you also don’t want any frustration if it’s on the blink when you need it. Check for leaks and broken or clogged heads. Make sure there is nothing, such as plants, preventing the correct distribution of water.
You might as well check your hose also. See if it made it through the winter without pinholes, cracks or dry rot.