Spring Lawn Care Tips
Has the winter weather played havoc on your lawn? Snow acts like a cover to your lawn, but ice can be damaging and cause the grass to die. So don’t be surprised if parts of your lawn is suffering when spring arrives.
When there’s a continuous freeze and thawing conditions this can damage grass roots. Road salt also is bad for lawns.Also, the grass along your driveways and paths may need replacement when spring grass should be greening up.
When snow and ice melt, your lawn begins to awaken from hibernation and changes from brown grass to green; if parts of your lawn don’t change it will need to be replaced.
The best way to see if your lawn needs some work is to pull at the brown areas. If the grass comes up easily, the roots are dead. If there’s resistance, then there’s hope.
When is the right time to start growing new grass? After the last chance of frost, when the temperatures at night are 35 degrees or above, and when the soil temperatures reach 50-65 degrees. Dead patches of grass will easily pull up because no roots bind to the grass to the soil. Cut around dead areas with a garden tool, then pull up the patch.
Then it will be time to plant seed. First scatter seed on soil and lightly rake it in. Water daily with a light mist for approximately 15 minutes to keep soil moist. If your soil dries out the seeds will not germinate. When the seeds do germinate, water deeply. Feed fresh grass with a high phosphorous fertilizer and let your grass grow about 3 inches before its first cut.
An alternative is to purchase sod. Most sod is 10-30 cents/sq. ft. compared to $28 for a 5-pound bag of seed that will cover approximately 2,000 sq. ft. Laying sod on dead patches instead of seeding is much easier. Sod is also easier to water and resists weeds better than seed.
We have no control over the weather, but you can help eliminate winter’s affect on your lawn. Add topsoil to low areas of your lawn to reduce the effects of ice. To reduce salt damage, apply a deicer once you shovel snow, so the salt doesn’t drain into your grass. Also, use a calcium chloride-based deicer, which does less damage than other products on the market.