Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gardening Article: Tips for a Greener Lawn This Spring

Step away from the lawn mower...

Spring is finally here, although in many parts of the country it's coming in slowly. Soon the yard is going to be lush and green, and this is the month to think about prepping it for the coming growing season. Here's what you need to do to have a lush, healthy lawn.

Think About Weeds Now

Weeds are the enemy of a healthy lawn, and they are already starting to germinate. Get a head start by applying weed control now, rather than later when they are growing strong. Using a pre-emergent herbicide is going to be far more effective than trying to kill the weeds once they have sprouted. If you're going to aerate your lawn, do this first, not after, applying the herbicide.

Treat Bare Areas

Bare areas are a recipe for a weed problem, and they are unsightly as well. In addition to applying a weed control product, you may need to overseed your lawn. Overseeding means applying seed to bare patches in your lawn. This is best done in the fall, but you can do it in the spring if you have a desperate situation. Apply seed to lawns in bare spots to prevent weeds and crabgrass from growing in these spots.

Prep Your Hose

You're going to rely on your garden hose and sprinkler to keep the lawn lush in dry spells. Make sure its ready and free of holes. If you need to replace it, do so now, rather than waiting until you have a parched lawn and no way to water it. Run some water through the hose to inspect for leaks, and replace if needed.

Apply Fertilizer

In the spring, fertilizer gives the lawn the boost it needs to grow healthy. However, you must use it properly to avoid damaging the lawn. Choose a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer, and use no more than a pound per 1,000 square feet of lawn. The best time to apply fertilizer is going to vary depending on your region. A good rule of thumb is to watch the turf. When you notice the turf beginning to grow, it's time for fertilizer.

Protect from Pests and Disease

Many fertilizers or herbicides have built in pest control or disease prevention. If yours doesn't, then you want to look for a product that will keep grubs and disease at bay. Choose a product that is specific to the type of pests in your area for the best result. Then, watch your lawn as it grows for signs of disease, and repair as needed.

Mow with Caution

Don't go crazy with the lawn mower in the spring. Yes, getting out there and mowing is exciting because it feels like summer time, but if you mow too often or cut the grass too short, you will ruin it. Research the right cutting length for the type of grass you have, and mow only when you are removing the top third of the blades. This will protect the grass from damage and also help the clippings to decompose easily.

Your lawn is just starting to turn from dormant to thriving. Give it the boost it needs with the right spring lawn care. If you put in the work now, your lawn will reward you with beautiful, lush, green grass all summer long.

Image courtesy of stockphotosforfree.com.

About the author: Lindsey is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area and she writes on behalf of Sears and other deserving brands. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master's degree.

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