A spring lawn is like a newborn child: The way you care for it from the beginning can determine how strong and healthy it grows. When Mother Nature tells you winter is over, it's time to get out the lawn and garden tools, or call in a landscaping contractor to handle some of the heaviest chores. If you want your lawn healthy and attractive for summer parties and barbecues, you haven't a moment to lose.
Here are some key steps to getting your lawn off to a great start:
Deep raking in the spring helps break up thatch so water and nutrients can penetrate to the roots of your lawn.
If the soil is severely compacted, your grass may starve for nutrients. Rent an aerator or have your lawn service handle it.
A single plant of crabgrass can seed your lawn with thousands of plants. Ask your lawn or landscaping contractor about granular crabgrass preventers. Apply them or have the contractor do it. Ask about safe, pre-emergent herbicides to repel other intruders.
If the lawn looked beat last year, check the soil pH. Grass loves neutral pH. If you have acidic soil, have your landscaping contractor add lime.
You can use a commercial fertilizer or mulch to serve breakfast to your emerging lawn. Avoid overfeeding early, saving the heavier application until later in the year.
And, yes, you're going to have to get out and weed early if you don't want a potpourri of invaders stealing vital nutrients from your lawn.