In many parts of the country, the transition from the frigid temperatures of winter to the sunny days of spring gives gardeners a short window in which to implement all of their spring lawn care tasks. Luckily, in Little Rock, our window is a little bit longer, extending way back into many of the winter months as well.
While lawn care is a constant work-in-progress in Little Rock, there are some steps you can take this spring to ensure you have a gorgeous, verdant lawn throughout all of the seasons.
Overseeding is a crucial step and should be the first step, in any good spring lawn care plan. Overseeding involves sowing a different variety of grass than what naturally grows to help protect your grass types and to help it stay healthy throughout the year. Overseeding warm season grasses with cool season varieties can help ensure you have a lush green lawn at all times of the year. Failing to may result in patches of your lawn looking brown and brittle as the seasons change–a definite mistake.
Fertilizing is essential to help boost your lawn’s growth, but it should not be done after February. Once the weather has warmed, late fertilizer can burn the grass and cause some severe and irreversible damage. Fall is usually the best time to fertilize, but an eco-friendly fertilizer in the spring can be beneficial as well. Don’t over-fertilize - remember that less is more. Leftover grass clippings are a great source of natural fertilizer that many homeowners overlook.
In late winter and even into early spring, you don’t need to worry much about irrigation. Generally, you will receive enough natural precipitation to compensate for any water needs. This is especially important if you are trying to transition your lawn from cold season grasses to warm season grasses. Too much water will encourage your cold season grasses to grow, and they will then overpower your new warm season varieties.
Once the temperatures rise, about seventy-five degrees, consider returning to your regular watering and irrigation schedule. Water at least twice a week, and do so profoundly to encourage warm season grasses to emerge.
Mow low during the late winter and early spring. Try to do so once a week, as this will help protect any permanent grass. Once the weather warms, you can allow more time to pass between mowings to let the cold season grass grow out and allow warm season varieties to grow in.
Spring is an excellent time to get on top of any weeds that may have emerged. A pre-emergent herbicide can be applied in early spring to prevent any stubborn summer weeds while digging or spraying plants with a broadleaf weed killer can also be useful. The key here is killing weeds before they seed into a new, booming population.
Aeration is generally best performed in the fall because grass can struggle to grow initially after irrigation. Aeration is needed if your soil has compacted as a result of excess traffic, poor soil quality, or other related factors. If you aerate, wait until May, this will give you the best likelihood of growing grass afterward.
Spring is also an excellent time to try out a soil test for the first time. Even if you have conducted a soil test in the past, soil composition and nutrient content can change, so it’s important to do this on a semi-regular basis. A soil test will tell you how much if any, fertilizer and other maintenance you might need.
Unlike other areas of the country, where spring lawn care is all about waking up your lawn after a long dormant period during the winter, spring lawn care in Little Rock is about prevention. Preparing your lawn for the hot summers ahead is crucial, so do so carefully to help your lawn weather whatever the hot months ahead throw in its direction.
If you're in Little Rock this spring, learn how Little Rock Lawn Care can service your lawn!
Photo Source: Zillow
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