Is this the year that you will have a lush, green lawn? If so, then spring is the time to start improving your lawn care game. The following three tasks can help your lawn look its best as it comes out of winter dormancy, and the results will show all summer long.
#1: Remove the thatch
Thatch is a thin layer of plant fibers. It's usually made up of cut grass that didn't decompose, as well as woodier materials such as pine needles and tree leaves. These form a mat of thatch. In thin layers, thatch can be good for your lawn, acting as weed barrier and a mulch. The problem is when a thatch layer becomes thicker than a quarter inch or so – at this point it also becomes a barrier to moisture penetration and air circulation, which can thin out a lawn. Power raking is the best way to remove the thatch. A lawn care professional uses a special dethatching rake or power raker to pull up thatch without damaging the grass.
Aerating is typically done after power raking. After thatch, compacted soil is the biggest issue for lawn grass, since new roots can't form in compacted soil nor can water penetrate well. Compaction tends to happen naturally from walking on the lawn or even pushing the mower over it repeatedly during the summer. Clay soils can compact more quickly, but no lawn is immune. After thatching, have the lawn aerated. A core aerator is usually used, which removes small plugs of soil and leaves them on top of the lawn. After a week of rain or irrigation, followed by a regular lawn mowing, the cores dissolve back into the lawn, but the benefits of the aerating remain.
#3: Apply fertilizer
The spring fertilization treatment is one of the more important applications. Nitrogen is the nutrient in fertilizer that greens grass and increases growth. It is also relatively short-lived in the soil, so nitrogen levels are often low after winter. Spring fertilizer replenishes the nitrogen, along with other important nutrients, so your lawn can quickly green up and begin putting on fresh new growth. This, in turn, prevents weeds from getting a toehold in the lawn. Many spring fertilizers also contain herbicides that target those newly emerged and yet to emerge weeds, which further helps to keep your lawn lush and healthy.
For more help, talk to a landscaping company, such as R & S Landscaping, in your area.