Get Ready For Spring Lawn Care

Spring has begun early in parts of the country this year, and even though it may still be chilly or even snowing where you are, it won’t be long before the season changes and brings with it the welcome renewal of everything fresh and green. So now is the time to start preparing your lawn for a lush display that will thrive all through the summer.

While you’re at it, remember that while spring also means flowers to delight your senses, the warmer weather wakes up mosquitos, too. We’ll give you some tips on how to control them so you can enjoy your outdoor space and all the pleasures it offers.

Here’s what to do:

Get Your Tools Ready

The very organized among us would have cleaned and oiled their tools before they stowed them for the winter, but if you’re like the rest of us, take the time now to get them in shape.

  • Scrub off old dirt.  No soap necessary, but use a stiff brush to get all the dirt out of crevices. Then rinse and dry thoroughly.
  • Remove rust. If blades are rusty, soak them in a container of vinegar for a day or two. Any residue should scrub off with a steel wool pad or rough sandpaper.
  • Lubricate the pivot points. Just one or two drops of 3-in-One oil or a similar lubricant will keep tools operating smoothly.
  • Sharpen blades. Use a whetstone or knife sharpener. Dull blades make the going slower and can mangle stems and branches.

Prepare the Lawn

Over the winter, the soil could have become compacted and uneven in spots. Harsh weather might also have altered the pH, making the soil less friendly to grass but more conducive to weeds and disease. Unless you really know what you’re doing, hire one of your local residential lawn services to take care of everything and get you going to a beautiful carpet of grass. If you’re set on doing it yourself, these are the basic steps:

  • Rake firmly. Some energetic raking will remove not only surface leaves, debris, and dead grass, but will disentangle matted areas of old shoots, roots, and other organic material that accumulates.
  • Correct the surface. A level lawn will equalize drainage and avoid soggy spots, so take a shovel to lop off raised places and fill in those that are sunken.
  • Aerate the soil. To loosen up compacted soil, you can rent an aerator at a garden center. They’re bulky and heavy, though, so if you don’t have the muscle to use or transport one, hire professional help.
  • Correct the pH.  Grass thrives in a neutral pH, and a simple test kit will tell you if your soil meets the bill. Apply lime for acidic soil, sulphur for soil that’s too alkaline. But get an expert opinion before you use either or you could do more harm than good.
  • Seed bare spots or overseed for a lusher lawn overall. Don’t expect seeds to germinate, however, until the soil temperature reaches about 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Pre-treat for weeds. A pre-emergent herbicide will take care of weeds before they start, but it will also stop grass seeds from germinating, so be careful where you use it.
  • Fertilize. Feeding your lawn gives it a stronger root system and the energy for a long growing season. Follow directions for whether you have warm or cool season grass, and for the part of the country in which you live.

Protect Against Mosquitos

Spring is the start of mosquito season, but temperature and rainfall make a difference. Mosquitos that hibernate over cold winters become active when the weather warms up. Mosquitos that are born from eggs laid the previous year need to be flooded by rainfall in order to hatch.

Mosquitos live on plant nectar for energy, but females require animal blood in order to produce eggs and reproduce. That’s why they seek you out and why you want to do your best to protect against them.

  • Remove standing water. The first thing to do is to empty any containers that have accumulated water in them over the winter before they become breeding sites.
  • Treat ponds. If you’ve got a fish pond, lily pond, or other decorative water feature in your garden, treat them with a product that contains the natural insecticide Bti. These products start killing mosquito larvae within a day after you drop them in the water, yet are harmless to humans and other animals including fish and frogs.

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One Response

  1. That information is all correct. A healthy lawn is necessary to the more excellent environment. It can also keep your yard cool during hot summer.

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