Once March hits in Memphis, TN, the temperatures climb to a mild 35 degrees at its lowest temperature. With highs of 60 degrees, spring officially becomes the start to any garden and lawn care tasks. We’re getting a taste of the heat to come, and so is your lawn. If you planted cold season grasses, they’re likely beginning to suffer. Spring is one of the most vital times for your lawn, as without adequate preparation the summer’s heat will cause disastrous damage. Here are a few tips to make sure you have a lush green lawn in Memphis.
Over the course of a year, your soil begins to get dense and compacted. This is bad for your lawn because having air pockets allows the water and nutrients to reach deep down into the soil. To aerate your lawn, the easiest method is to rent a plug aerator. The reason we choose the plug aerator versus the spike aerator is simple. While the plug aerator actually removes part of the dirt, allowing it to spread and resulting in less compact soil, the spike aerator can actually compact the soil around the spike.
Renting a plug aerator can be done at most garden supply stores, and are easy enough to use. However, it’s important to know the proper width and depth of the plugs you want. You want the plugs to be 2 – 3 inches deep and .5 – .75 inches in diameter, and about 2 – 3 inches apart.
Finally, before you begin aerating it’s important for your yard to be damp. Doing it after a rainstorm is optimal, and Memphis enjoys a wet spring. After you’ve gone over your yard once, you may need to do another pass. This is optional but will give a better result when done properly. Make sure to follow the directions for your aerator.
The optimal time to plant your grass seed is within two days after you aerate your lawn. The holes will allow the grass seed to get down where it wants to be without as much effort, and it will enjoy the loose soil. Overseeding is another key element to ensuring a healthy summer lawn, as it will allow a dense foliage and helps push out weeds that may have lived through the winter. If you don’t overseed, weeds can easily take over less dense areas of your lawn.
Fertilizing is generally done twice a year. It should be done once in the spring to ensure your lawn is in its prime when the summer heat rolls around, and once in the fall to ensure your cold season lawn can survive the below-freezing temperatures in Memphis. If you’ve aerated your soil, fertilizing should be done after you plant your summer grass seed. It gives your grass a strong base to begin growing. The soil in Memphis can be lacking in some key nutrients that are easily made up for in your fertilizer. Performing a soil test to check on what you need to supplement is a key step before fertilizing. It allows you to target specific weaknesses of your lawn and correct them to ensure the healthiest lawn possible.
Spring lawn care is all about preparation. Following these tips will prepare your lawn for the hot and humid summer ahead. The lush, green lawn you’ve always craved is within your reach! All you have to do is put in the work and then you can reap the rewards of a beautiful lawn.
For more information on how to get your lawn care kickstarted in the spring, visit our Memphis lawn care page!
Feature image source: Zillow