It's Time for a Spring Lawn Check Up
As the snow melts away, you may be surprised to find that your once, lush green lawn is less vibrant. The accumulative effect of salt, snow, wind, and frosty weather can cause damage to both the roots and tips of your grass. But that’s not all, winter may have been hiding some unexpected surprises, including mould and root damage from voles.
Keep your eye out for these Tell-tale signs of Lawn Damage
Tell-Tale Sign: Brown or Yellow Grass
Grass thrives in a naturally alkaline environment. However, a season of salt spray and build-up can create patches of yellow and brown grass. If left alone, these weakened areas will become prone to weeds and insects.
Salt not only burns the tips of the grass, but it can also seep into the soil, creating an acidic environment where grass may struggle to survive. When treating salt-impacted areas, the first goal is to neutralize the soil. This includes rinsing away any salt build-up and adding Dolomitic Lime to help rebalance the PH of the soil. Once the treatment plan is done, remove the dead patches of grass and replenish the area with nutrient-rich compost and grass seed.
Tell-Tale Sign: Pink or Gray Patches
Remember that surprise snowfall we had in early November? Well, early and late snowfalls can result in snow mould growing on your lawn. A tell-tale sign of mould is pink or gray patches in your lawn.
Rake the area to allow the mould to dry and loosen the grass. In severe cases, remove the dying grass and fill in the patches with nutrient-rich soil, like Garden Gallery Tri-Mix, and grass seed.
Tell-Tale Sign: Trails of exposed dirt
If you’re noticing trails of turned-up dirt, you most likely have voles. These little rodents tend to feast on grubs and as a direct result may also end up nibbling on roots and tubers as they forage for their food.
Replenish the bare areas with Garden Gallery’s Tri-Mix and grass seed. To help manage the voles, remove any wood chips or piles of leaves, trim any low layer of branches and mow your lawn regularly. Voles like to burrow and are attracted to areas that have a lot of vegetation and spots to hide. This clean-up process will help limit any potential hiding spots for these rodents.
This walk-around will help you target and treat any damage that may have occurred over the winter. However, all lawns need care and attention after a season of nutrient deprivation and stress. These six simple steps will help get your spring lawn off to a great start.
6 Easy Steps for a Healthy Spring Lawn
Step 1: Rake
Raking will help remove any grass that may have died over the winter and prevent it from growing into thatch. The process will loosen up the soil, any dead/damaged grass, and remove any debris (leaves, branches) that may have been lingering since fall.
Step 2: Aerate
Areas in your lawn that are compacted, typically high traffic areas, will make it harder for your lawn to get the nutrients and water that it needs. Aeration will help break up the soil so that both your existing and new grass roots will have room to grow.
Step 3: Top Dress
Spread a thin layer of compost or Garden Gallery Organic Tri-Mix over your entire lawn. This will add moisture and nutrients back into your soil. Seasonal topdressing is the key to improving the overall health of your lawn, creating an environment that grass will thrive in. As an added bonus: top dressing will also help breakdown thatch and smooth out uneven areas in your property.
Step 4: Seed
Adding new grass seed to your lawn is the best way to create rich, lush turf. Garden Gallery has a full line of Elite Grass Seed, including all-purpose, shade, and sun, making it easy to choose the right seed for your area. As an added benefit, regular reseeding your lawn will help keep weeds under control as the empty spaces in your lawn will now be filled with healthy, grass.
Step 5: Protect
For an extra layer of protection, add a layer of corn gluten to your lawn in Early Spring (the sooner the better). When applied to lawns, corn gluten can be a very effective natural pre-emergent herbicide stopping weeds from taking root. Apply the first application of corn gluten early in spring, during a short (two to three days) dry period. These dry days are necessary to make sure that the corn gluten is effective in stopping any emerging crabgrass or weeds from rooting. For best results, apply corn gluten every four to six weeks to help prevent weeds from rooting all season long.
Step 6: Fertilize
Give your lawn a bit of a kickstart with a boost of fertilizer. Products like Garden Gallery Spring and Summer Fertilizer 22-4-10, for general application or Garden Gallery Sod and Seed Food 10-22-10 to help new seeds and sod establish strong roots.
Weeds and insects like to seek out lawn that is either dead, damaged, or weak. Following this six-step process each Spring will help establish a healthy foundation for your lawn. The end result-a lawn that is green, healthy, and able to resist disease and weeds.