Are you ready to say goodbye to the blistering winter temperatures and transition into spring? Your lawn is, too! As the snow thaws and reveals dull brown grass, it's easy to feel intimated by the task of getting your lawn back into shape. However, with these five tips from Jon Yandura, certified arborist at Pure Turf & Tree (pureturfandtree.com) in Auburn Hills, prepping your lawn for spring has never been easier.
1. The first thing you'll want to do is look at your grass after the snow melts. Assess problem areas such as dead or bare areas. Generally, it helps to rake your lawn lightly to clear up debris and get oxygen into any spots with snow mold to eliminate the fungus that may be there.
2. For the larger dead areas, we suggest using sod to cover in the spring. The benefit of using sod in the spring is the rain we typically get will help the new sod integrate into the soil surface, as it needs to be watered daily. Another benefit of sodding in spring is being able to use pre-emergent herbicides to reduce the number of weeds that will germinate. If seed is put down, you cannot use any pre-emergents in those areas, as it will stop growth. Please note that if you are going to sod, the dead grasses must be removed before placing sod in those areas to promote root growth into the soil.
3. As for cutting, ensure you have a sharp blade on your mower and cut high; 3.5" is optimal. When using a weed wacker, it's crucial to not cut down to the ground as it is detrimental to the grasses and makes it easier for weeds to grow in those areas.
4. It is important to get irrigation running around late April or May after the potential for freezing conditions is over. During this time of year, the temperature promotes more growth of the turf. Frequent light watering is ideal for both growth and disease management, as well as reducing the risk of potential grub damage later on in the year.
5. Finally, using fertilizer will help provide necessary nutrients to your grasses and strengthen the growth of both the roots and top growth.