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Idaho Enterprise

Spring Lawn Tips

Clean Up Your Landscape

Remove any debris that has accumulated on your lawn during winter. Removing twigs, leaves, and other debris from your lawn is an important step in spring cleanup This includes raking up any excessive dead grass that has accumulated, allowing for better air circulation and preventing the growth of mold and diseases.

Check Your Lawn Equipment

Your lawn equipment hasn't been touched in several months, so it's important to do some basic maintenance before using these tools for the season. Consider changing the oil, sharpening the blade, and cleaning the cutting deck of your mower. Other tools to check include your weed whacker, rake, and any gardening equipment you may need for the season.

Time Your First Mow Correctly

You should generally wait until temperatures are above 40 degrees Fahrenheit and your grass hits the 3-inch mark before your first spring mow. The grass should also be dry before you mow it. Another way to determine if your lawn is ready to be mowed is by assessing the lawnmower deck (the protective blade lip at the bottom of the machine that grazes over the grass). As long as the grass is a 1/2 to 1 inch higher than that, you're ready to go. You should never cut more than a third of the grass while mowing.

Fertilize Your Lawn

Spring fertilization is important for a few reasons. It provides essential nutrients to plants as they begin their active growth phase after the dormancy of winter. This replenishment of nutrients helps support healthy foliage and root development, leading to stronger, more resilient plants. What's more, spring fertilization can help plants recover from any nutrient deficiencies that may have developed during the winter months.

Aerate Your Lawn

Homeowners should use the start off spring to aerate their lawns to relieve compaction. You will only need to do this every other year, depending on the condition of your lawn. To check for soil compaction, stick a screwdriver into the soil up to 6 inches. If you need significant effort to do it, your soil is likely completed and would benefit from an aeration.

Dethatch Your Lawn

Thatch (dead grass, roots, and other organic material) can build up over time and if it gets too thick, can impede the flow of water, air, and nutrients to the roots. Dethatching removes this buildup and is often done during mid to late spring, depending on the type of grass you have. While dethatching can be beneficial in certain situations, it's not always necessary, and keeping up with your bi-annual aeration can remove the need for dethatching.

Overseed Your Lawn

If your lawn is thinning or has bare patches, early spring is a good time to overseed. Overseeding will help fill in thin areas, promote a lush and uniform appearance, and improve the overall health of the grass. However, overseeding can be a challenging process, requiring care and consistency to properly establish new seed in your lawn. To ensure the best results, prepare your lawn properly, choose the right grass seed for your climate and lawn conditions, and follow proper watering and mowing practices after overseeding.

Take Care of Weeds

Remove any weeds from your lawn to prevent them from taking over. If you’re going to pull weeds, make sure you remove the entire root system. This can be a difficult process and it may be best to hire a professional.

Apply Pre-Emergent Herbicide

Prevent the germination and growth of weeds before they emerge from the soil by applying a pre-emergent herbicide in early spring. Pre-emergent herbicides are typically applied to the soil before weed seeds start to sprout, forming a barrier that inhibits their growth. These herbicides work by disrupting the growth processes of weeds, either by inhibiting cell division or interfering with the development of roots.

Apply Post-Emergent Herbicide

If the seeds have already started to emerge from the soil, apply a post-emergent herbicide. These herbicides are designed to kill or control weeds that are actively growing in a targeted area. Post-emergent herbicides can be selective, meaning they target specific types of weeds while leaving desirable plants unharmed, or non-selective, meaning they will kill or damage any plant they come into contact with.

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