Home / Springtime Lawn Care Tips from Jared, the Lawn Guy
Apr 02 2018 (written by Jared Cooper) 158
Growing a thick and healthy lawn is not rocket science but it does require some science, and some work.
Table of Contents:
Spring lawn wake up – without the coffee (for the lawn, recommended for you)
The first thing to do in the spring is to rake the lawn: manually, or with the help of a dethatching attachment for your lawn mower. Another option is to rent a Power Raker from your local hardware store. I can’t wait to tell you about this fun option.
In its most basic element raking allows the roots of your lawn to breathe (air is 76% Nitrogen – aka free fertilizer) after being choked by snow all winter (if you live in the abominable northern climate like I do). Raking is a messy chore but this simple investment of time and effort is one of the best things you can do for a healthy and beautiful lawn. Simply put: the lawn can breathe easier and access rain, fertilizer and air without any old thatch suffocating the lawn’s root system.
Most people rake manually with any leaf rake because the “power raker” machines are a back-breaking endeavor. Between pushing the machine with spinning rotary blades tearing up the grass, and the bags that get clogged every 20 feet forcing you to stop and empty them out, and all the clean-up, believe me, power raking is not for the faint of heart. If you chose to power rake, and live to tell, you are Superman.
The old adage “if a little is good, a lot is better” does not apply to fertilizers. Don’t believe me? See what happens but don’t come crying to me when your lawn is chemically burned and you have to spend $5,000 re-sodding your lawn. Actually, I know a guy…
Some early spring fertilizers include a crabgrass preventer chemical (e.g. Dimension). This provides a temporary barrier that prevents the crabgrass weeds from germinating when the soil reaches 55 degrees F. But it doesn’t last forever. 60 days of prevention is consistent for most granular products on the market. Generally by July or August that barrier is gone and some yards will begin showing crabgrass.
If you don’t know what crabgrass looks like – Google it. It is a wide-spreading weed with thick blades growing out from a center root, that is a darker green than your established lawn. They are ugly and noticeable when mature – not to be confused with quackgrass – “quack like a duck” as I tell my clients. Crabgrass can be killed fairly easily but quackgrass is a bugger.
Why is quackgrass so tough to kill? It’s in the grass family, so the selective herbicides that only kill weeds (e.g. Trimec 992) but don’t harm grass, can’t touch the quackgrass. So hand removal or a non-selective herbicide (e.g. Round-up) are your only options to kill it. One of my most creative clients designed a long-handled trash pick-up tool and super-glued sponges to each pincher, and then very carefully dipped the tips of the sponges in Round-up concentrate (so it was less likely to drip) and then swabbed each blade of quackgrass when it grew taller than his established lawn. It worked!
If you have specific questions about your lawn, please contact me below via email!
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