The cold Midwest winter is starting to warm up and spring is right around the corner in the St. Louis area. This transition will mean that your lawn will start to awaken and turn green. Cool grass varieties will grow quickly during the cooler spring season which means that you need to be ready to care for your lawn to reach ultimate maximum performance this year. Follow these tips for the best lawn care in St. Louis this spring:
1. Prepare The Lawn & Equipment
Make sure that your lawn itself is ready for a successful spring season. Clear any fallen branches, plants, or debris that may be lurking in your lawn. Pick up pine cones left over from fall and make sure that you start with a clean slate this spring. Also, prepare your lawn mower and make sure that it is ready for work. Check the oil level, fill up the gas tank, and sharpen the blades in order to get a clean first mow that won’t shock the grass.
2, Add Seeds If Needed
Seeding during the spring is usually not recommended but it may be needed for some cooler weather grass varieties that experienced damage over the winter. Take an accurate look at your lawn and identify the areas that could use a little extra growth. Rake these problem areas and prepare them for seeding in early April. Seeds will germinate once the temperature rises above 50°F so watch weather forecasts in your area to determine the best time to add seeds. The earlier you can add seeds the better chance you will have at keeping weeds from germinating as well.
Generally, fertilization should occur in the fall but your lawn will benefit from a light fertilizer application in late May. Choose fertilizers with slow-release nitrogen or lower nitrogen to keep the new spring grasses from burning. Check the weather forecast and fertilize right before a spring rain to get the maximum value added to your lawn. If you miss the rainstorm, lightly spray the lawn after a fertilizer application to wash off the leaves and force the nutrients to the root system. Keeping your lawn properly fertilized helps to cut down on weeds and bug infestations throughout the coming summer months.
4. Mow Early
Many St. Louis homeowners wait too long before mowing their lawns the first time. A good rule of thumb is to remember that no more than 1/3 of the grass should be cut at one time. Cutting off more than 1/3 of the overall height of the grass can cause stress and create future problems with bare spots. Watch your lawn closely and notice when it greens up for the spring season. Consider doing a taller first mow to get your bearings and keep the grass from undue stress. Be sure to resist bagging your clippings and making sure that the clippings can return to the lawn to provide extra plant nutrients during spring growth.
The arrival of spring gives a good excuse to get outside after a long Midwest winter. Prepare your lawn and your equipment early to save you time to get to that first mowing of the season. Look for problem areas and add reseed accordingly, as well as, adding a light application of fertilizer in late spring. Doing these things during spring will help to ensure a healthy and beautiful lawn throughout the St. Louis summer season.
Feature image source: Zillow