By this time of the year you are looking for ANY reason to get out of the house! Between the Winter blues and the Coronavirus sweeping the nation, sunshine, and warmer weather is exactly what we need! What better way to get over the hurdle of the winter season than a checklist on how to get your lawn looking great for the upcoming summer months. Aside from avoiding cabin fever, the perks you’ll get from getting outside to prep your lawn for the season ahead are endless. A beautifully green lush lawn is the goal and personally, letting Frank from across the street know I’m bringing the heat this year, always gets me fired up! Get the lawn mower and weed whacker ready and tuned up because once you complete this checklist you will be on your way to receiving the best lawn on the block award!
Raking is a very important step in the spring lawn prep process. It should be the first task you tackle as it will help prepare your lawn for the following steps. Not only does raking gather the lingering mess from Winter (leaves/clumped grass/dog donations), but it will also help break up any “snow mold” your lawn may have accumulated. It is important to do a deep rake to help with dethatching, so get those arms pumping and start working on that summer beach bod. Rake when the ground is nice and soft and just after the grass starts waking up from the Winter season.
Arguably, THE most important step to the look and health of your lawn is overseeding. Whether you have bare spots from plow damage or snow mold, early Spring is a good time to jump start your lawn repairs. Overseeding is also great for filling in your lawn, which creates optimal health. The best way for your lawn to fight disease and drought is to have a thick & healthy lawn (along with proper watering and a touch of fertilization). The best time to seed varies on what part of the country you live in, take a look at this article to see when is best for you. If you choose to seed in the Spring you will want to do earlier rather than later to give the seedlings time to mature. When you are ready, get your favorite bag of seed, follow the directions, and watch your lawn fill up! Pro Tip: Do not skimp out on watering!
When it comes to lush and beauty, fertilizer can be the icing on the cake for your lawn. If applied incorrectly, it can easily become that hot wheels car you step on in the middle of the night. Fertilizer applications, like overseeding, have great results during the early Fall season. With that said, fertilizer in the Spring time can catapult your lawn to early success. It’s all about timing, as if you apply too early it can disrupt the growth cycle. This is why I recommend waiting until the end of May to apply. Fertilizer companies will push to do it sooner and more often, but I’m a true believer in waiting until the growth cycle is complete. Apply the fertilizer later to help your lawn look great through the Summer months. When you do decide to fertilize, give your lawn a 1lb feeding of slow-release nitrogen. Here is a list of the best fertilizers.
There you have it, a short & doable check list to give your lawn the BEST chance at looking great this year. If you follow these steps every year, you will be on your way to neighborhood gold status. Make sure to get out there and pull those pesky weeds and areas of crabgrass. If you want to go above and beyond you can aerate in early spring and again in the Fall. Here are a few additional parting tips:
1.) Make sure your lawn is getting adequate water all season long. Here’s how to install a sprinkler system if you need to.
2.) Avoid mowing grass too low as it will make your lawn more susceptible to weeds and drought stress. Correct length for grass should be around 2 1/2″.
3.) Using a mulching mower when cutting the grass is a excellent source of fertilization for your lawn all year round.
For more landscape projects, check out these other articles.
Meet the Pro:
Shawn Gaesser is the owner of Gaesser Lawn Service, and has always had a passion for the outdoors. He started mowing lawns in the summer on the side, and his hard work combined with a focus on customer service allowed him to expand his business into a full-time operation. Gaesser Lawn Service has both commercial and residential customers throughout Western NY.