The warm weather is here, and you’re itching to get outside. Here are six steps to ensure you start the season with a kick-off-your-shoes lawn.
It’s not unusual to have weeds in your lawn. A weedy lawn is usually a sign of nutrient imbalance or other soil problems. For small patches just pull or dig them out. Try to get all the roots, so the weeds can’t grow back. If you have a weed-infested lawn, consider applying a chemical or organic herbicide, or making your own weed killer with white vinegar, salt and dish soap. Don’t apply herbicide if you’re seeding your lawn. Pre-emergent herbicides will also prevent grass seed from sprouting.
While fighting weeds is a year-round job, weed prevention is best practiced in the fall and early spring to take advantage of the growing season of turf grasses.
2. Seeding Bare Spots
You can fill large bare spots by re-seeding. Get the right type of seed to match your lawn. It’s usually better to choose high-quality seed, even if it costs a bit more. Avoid any seed that contains more than .01% of weed seed. Plant according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Water lightly but regularly.
If you have large brown spots in your yard, use this checklist to help you determine the cause.
3. Allow the Soil to Breathe
The soil in lawns becomes compacted over time, resulting in weak or dying grass. Aerate your soil with a garden fork or a manual lawn plug aerator. The holes left behind allow the soil to breathe and let water and nutrients reach the grass’ roots. For a larger area, you may want to rent a gas-powered, walk-behind aerator. It’s a good idea to mark any sprinkler lines or electrical wires first, so they don’t get cut in the process.