Spring is a great time to clean your home, and in the same vein, it’s the perfect time to get your lawn ready for a new season of beauty. Spring lawn care can seem like a daunting task. However, Summit Turf Services is here to help you jumpstart your growing season and give spring lawn care steps to enjoy happy and healthy lawn and gardens all season long. Giving your yard a good cleanup also gets the area ready for other lawn and landscape projects you may have planned.
Rake and Bag
To begin, we recommend creating a spring lawn care checklist. The first step in spring lawn preparation is cleaning up the remains of winter. Time to roll up the sleeves and start getting rid of unwanted foliage and debris like litter, dog feces, dead grass, and old leaves.
Over the long winter season, oftentimes litter can blow into your yard. This is your opportunity to pick up trash, sticks, and other garbage. Be sure to wear heavy gloves for this process.
It isn’t pleasant, but this is also the time to pick up and discard any dog waste. Here’s a helpful hint: Do not compost dog waste. A dog’s feces contain pathogens. It’s best to let an expert do that composting. Lawn care experts of Kansas City, Summit Turf Services, are happy to help and give early spring lawn care tips as well.
Time to turn your attention to the actual lawn. If you thoroughly raked all the leaves in late fall, you will probably avoid any snow mold. But there still might be a few leaves to rake up in the month of April. The good news is that raking in early spring can also pull up thatch and clean the lawn down deep – this is one of many of our early spring lawn care tips.
If you have pine cone-bearing trees, this is a chance to remove them as well, as they don’t break down easily in a compost pile. Perhaps you even want to save them for arts and crafts.
Next, move on to your perennial beds. Remove all of the overgrown grass and dead leaves. Good gardening scissors work great for pruning this area.
If you have to do some spring cleaning, you may as well enjoy yourself and anticipate how wonderful it’s going to look when you’re finished. You’ll soon be able to reward yourself with a beautiful yard and transplanted flower beds. Spring lawn preparation may be time consuming, but we promise it is worth all the hard work.
Fertilizing and Preparing your Flower Beds
If your perennial beds are fully established from past years, the best thing to do is add compost and fertilizer in your spring lawn care schedule. The timing of these applications is essential to your lawn’s health, and Summit Turf Services is here to help. Be sure to also remove weeds. Flushing them out
now will discourage them from getting a head start on the spring and summer season.
Speaking of compost, remember it can be beneficial for more than just planting beds. All of your plants (including your lawn) enjoy getting a nice compost feeding in the early springtime. One of the great benefits of composting is that it will not burn your plants throughout the season. Compost releases it’s fertilizer slowly and naturally. If you opt for using chemicals, be very careful to use exactly as directed. Chemicals in fertilizer can burn your grass and plants. If possible, use weed and feed versions, as they can act as a pre-emergent and prevent other weeds.
You can begin preparing garden beds by tilling, killing unwanted grass, raising any beds, and creating a landscape berm.
Flower Beds and Lawns
Spring is a good time to plant new trees, shrubs, and perennial borders. For annuals and less hearty perennials, make sure you don’t plant until after the final frost. Add this step to your early spring lawn care checklist!
Solarization of Soil
If planning for a brand new flower bed is a part of your spring lawn care checklist, rest assured that weeds will begin to pop up. Try using a landscape fabric over the ground, then put a layer of mulch over the fabric. The mulch will help protect from UV rays.
There are those gardeners who dislike fabric in vegetable gardens, due to the desire for reaching into the soil and churning it by hand. If this is you, try using mulch only, but be prepared for regular weeding.
Crabgrass and Insect Prevention
The best way to fight weeds and crabgrass is to prevent them from ever emerging. Again, landscape fabric and mulching can do the trick. For the grass, always use a good pre-emergent in the early spring.
When researching how to get your lawn ready for spring, timing is crucial for pre-emergent herbicide on your grass. Soil temperatures should be around 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. You could perform random soil temperature tests, but there is actually an easier way. Apply your pre-emergent chemical when the forsythias are no longer blooming and before any lilacs begin to bloom.
Insects and other pests can also be a challenge, but an ounce of prevention helps here too. Although it is difficult, your garden needs to be protected from rabbits. Also, deer will quickly ruin your garden. If you live in a region for deer and rabbits, use a deer pre-emergent around your plants. You might also consider certain plant species in which rabbits, voles, deer and groundhogs tend to avoid.
Prune Your Shrubs
When you get beyond the winter temperatures and you are ready to begin spring lawn care, it will be time to prune your shrubs. There are many reasons to rid your shrubs of unwanted wood.
Trees and shrubs can need spring cleaning just like your lawn and flower beds. Prune off any dead limbs or winterkill. Remember, if it’s brown, it’s dead. If it’s green, it’s healthy and alive.
Dead branches should be taken off, certainly. The pruning of live branches is really determined by your personal preference.
Some shrubs bloom in early spring and you won’t want to prune them or they will lose their flowers: (Forsythia, Korean spice viburnum and lilacs). Postpose pruning until after they have bloomed.
Some shrubs bloom later, like butterfly bushes, Rose of Sharon, lavender, beautyberry, and Bluebeard. Feel free to prune these in early spring (or even late winter). They will not lose any flowers.
Remove the Mulch from any Perennial Beds
Last, but not least, on your list of spring lawn care steps – the removal of mulch. You may have a thick mulch layer covering your perennials. The mulch and other leaves and debris could have blown in over the winter months. Once the mulch is pulled away, the perennials will begin to emerge.
Choosing not to pull the mulch away can result in the perennials getting smothered. Check to see if your perennial plants are trying to push up about the time the ground is thawing. If so, pull the mulch away. Once they push up further, reapply a mulch layer to guard against weeds.