When winter’s harsh snows have finally stopped, and spring moves in, the season for lawn care begins. This year, start your lawn care off right with the knowledge of how to handle any problems that may come your way. Whether you’ll be planting new seedlings in the spring, or simply tending to the seed planted in the fall, these tips will help you bring your lawn into the summer looking healthy and full, without any of those pesky weeds.
Due to the annual lake effect snows, your lawn care may not begin until well into March, as snow cover can be deadly to newly planted seedlings. So check the weather forecast in the area before beginning any lawn care practices, to ensure that there will be no snowfall within the next 2 days for simply caring for an existing lawn. If you are planning on establishing a new lawn, either ensure there will be no snowfall for the next two weeks by waiting until mid April to begin, or simply wait until the safer Fall season to begin establishing your new grass seedlings. Here are spring lawn care tips for getting your lawn in Buffalo ready for growth season.
Many times, soil compaction caused by foot traffic or heavy rains can create growth problems for lawn grasses. Compacted soil can make it more and more difficult for grasses and plants to reach the nutrients they need in the soil, but this can be amended fairly easily. After a heavy rainfall, in any places where water seems to be pooling into smaller puddles, try using a knife, hand trowel, or small shovel to loosen compacted soil down about 6 to 8 inches into the soil. Simple aeration techniques like this are best in spring, while the heavier core aeration tools are better for summer care.
Before the season actually begins, think about bringing your lawn mower in for a tune-up. Dull lawn mower blades can end up costing you up to 20% more fuel, and may shred grass blade tips, causing premature browning.
If you happen to have a mulching lawn mower, try leaving the grass clippings in place. Grass leaves mostly consist of water and nutrients, which will lead to less fertilizer needed when feeding your lawn. Just make sure you mow often enough that this mulching does not leave clumps of grass clippings on your lawn, which can actually choke your grasses of nutrients and sunlight. During the height of spring growth, this may lead to mowing once every five days or so, but this amount will decrease as the summer grows closer.
Bare patches are almost inevitable when taking care of a lawn. They can be caused by extra shade in certain areas, grubs, low soil nutrients, soil compaction, or any number of other sources. These bare patches make it easier for weeds to move in, so make sure to act quickly by using fast growing perennial ryegrasses to fill in these patches before weeds have the chance. Overseeding can also prevent lawn grasses from becoming vulnerable to insects and diseases, as a present perennial ryegrass can actually resist these pests fairly well when compared with other grasses.
If your lawn already consists of a desirable thick green coat, consider skipping spring feeding with fertilizer. In many cases, during this season, your lawn will already be receiving enough nutrients from the soil, grass clippings, and only a very late season feeding to avoid browning in the early summer. For best results, add nitrogen rich fertilizers 2 to 4 times during the month of May to help avoid browning during the summer months.
Do not apply fertilizers between December 1st and April 1st in the area, as frozen grounds tend to cause fertilizers to simply run off, wasting the given nutrients and leading to local pollution. Also, do not apply fertilizer if heavy rainfall is expected within the next two days to avoid further runoff. Also be sure to pick your fertilizer correctly, as New York state law prohibits fertilizer use that includes phosphorus, so be sure to avoid any fertilizers with this nutrient.
Need help preparing your lawn for upcoming spring? Visit our Buffalo lawn care page to get in touch with a professional! In addition to Buffalo, we provide lawn care services to New York cities including Rochester, Albany, and Syracuse.