If you live in northeast Ohio or have recently talked to someone from there, you’ve probably heard all about the endless winter. Or you’re still surviving it. It seems like waiting for the spring thaw these days gets longer and longer. Contrary to popular belief, it is not too early to get your yard in shape for spring. Now is a perfect time for planning, prep and getting a head start to growing season.
Before throwing bulk grass seed or digging up weeds, consider prepping your yard a bit. After a long, relentless winter, it is important to remember to do a little spring cleaning. A lawn that has been covered in snow, leaves and branches will go dormant during the winter. Clearing up the landscape is a great way to start off the season and wake it up.
Spring Cleaning the Lawn
Start by gathering up small sticks, dead leaves and grass clippings from the yard. A great way to put these items to use is to designate a small area of the lawn for a compost pile. As a general rule of thumb, start your pile with a dry mixture of leaves or straw. Throw in some clippings, peat moss, vegetable peelings and other organic matter together to make a “green level.” The lusher your green level is, the more nutrients you will pass into your soil. Add a thin level of topsoil to keep everything compacted. Be sure to keep these three levels damp as the warm weather moves in to encourage the break-down of the organic material. Mulch is also a great option to help seal in the moisture. The rich soil from this compost is a great base for your garden or your lawn.
Aerating Your Landscape
Due to heavy snow, rains and even by simply walking on it, your yard can become compacted easily. When soil becomes too compacted, this can inhibit air, water or nutrients from reaching the roots of the plant. Aerating your lawn breaks up this soil, making it easier for the proper nutrients to pass through the soil and get down to the root system. Spring is a fantastic time to aerate and loosen up your soil to help remove the weight of winter. Getting the warmer, spring air into your soil will not only help the ground thaw more completely, but it will also prep the soil for future planting.
Water Early in the Day
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is overwatering your lawn. A good rule of thumb is once or twice a week. This will help develop a deep root system to ensure the health of your grass. Too much water can lead to shallow roots or allows fungi to form. Be sure to allow the water to soak in completely. Watering between 4 am and 10 am usually yields the best results. Doing so earlier in the day prevents the sun from evaporating the water away before it reaches the roots.
In addition to air and water, giving your lawn proper nutrients is crucial. Fertilize on holidays to keep your lawn care on schedule. Start on Easter, then do Memorial Day, followed by fourth of July and finish on Labor Day. This schedule spreads out fertilization and is the easiest system to keep you on track.
Schedule Cutting the Grass
One of the keys to greener grass that people don’t realize is the way it is cut. Be sure to have sharp mowing blades, because a dull blade will actually chew up the grass causing the tips to brown. Also, never cut off more than a third when dealing with Bermuda grass. This might mean mowing every five days or so, but it is important to cut as little of the grass blade as possible, even during the summer.
Within a few weeks, these five lawn tips can have your lawn healthy and looking its best. They will help create a strong root system and ensure your lawn stands up against the elements. Hiring an Ohio landscape maintenance team is another great way to see that your lawn is taken care of the way it should be. Contact Sagamore Companies for more information on lawn care or to get started with our maintenance team today.