Ah. The first day of spring is upon us.
It’s a great time to take stock of your yard. Lawns need spring cleaning, too!
1. Rake away thatch. Thatch is all the stuff that’s been intertwining with your grass over the winter — leaves, clippings, and dead weeds among them. It’s important to remove thatch because it can prevent sunlight and water from reaching your grass, and you need these nutrients more than ever now that grass is sprouting again.
2. Mow only when grass needs it. Set your mower blades at their highest setting, and plan to remove no more than 1/3 of the blade height of the grass. In other words, just a trim, please! Mowing too much can impair growth.
3. Use lawn fertilizer only if necessary. You can get your soil tested to be certain what nutrients you need to add. One of the dangers of nitrogen is that it causes cell elongation, which is exactly what makes blades of grass so lush and beautiful. But these elongated cells are also more susceptible to drought and fungus. What you do want fertilizer for is a bit of top growth. Overfertilization, in addition to elongating cell structure, can also encourage root growth, which we don’t want at this time of year. We want strong roots to absorb and store moisture in the fall.
4. Trim trees and shrubs if needed. If winter has taken its toll by breaking limbs or branches, remove them now.
5. Turn your compost heap. Turning your compost heap and speed up the decomposition process. Also, you can dig in some compost into your lawn or garden.
6. Weeding now saves weeding later! Yes, you have to get down on your knees and remove weeds. But if you do it now, before plants flower and seed, you’ll save a lot of work later. Consider this: weeds can produce as many as 10,000 seeds each. If you need to, soak the soil you’re weeding— it’s much easier to pull weeds up by the roots if the soil is moist.
7. Check for aphids. You can turn plant leaves over and see evidence of aphids, so that you know whether you need to treat. Use sustainable methods to remove the pests, or call us at 757.229.9668.