A lush and healthy lawn is a wonderful thing, but it can take a lot of work to get one. That type of lawn is the product of good preparation, because the grass needs time to grow and take advantage of the favorable conditions that a good worker can provide. Getting an early start on prepping the lawn for spring is the key to success, and all it takes is a little bit of elbow grease.
Clean the Area
Lawns tend to get dirty over the winter. Rocks and debris can easily find their way into the lawn and get covered by snow, which can also conceal forgotten garbage and even organic matter. The first step towards preparing the lawn is simply cleaning it.
Simply walk through the yard in a regular pattern with a garbage bag and pick up all of the trash that is in the way. Once that is done, do a second pass to get rid of organic matter, such as old leaves, if any of it is still left. Throw the organic waste into a compost heap so that you can put it to good use later, and dispose of all of the inorganic waste like any other trash. You will probably only need to do this once at the very start of the season, but you should make a point of getting rid of trash if you happen to find it throughout the rest of the year.
Apply Fertilizers and Pesticides
Chemical preparation is the next step. It’s best to apply a dose of fertilizer early on, since plants need to get nutrients as quickly as possible to get over any damage that they sustained during the winter. It is also a good idea to apply a pre-emergent herbicide at the same time. The herbicide will stop crab grass from growing. Preventing it from sprouting is much easier than getting rid of it once it shows up, so it is important not to skip this step. Many companies bundle the two chemicals together, and picking a combination treatment is the most convenient option.
This process should be repeated in a month and half, and that second dose should come with a weed killer. Additional treatments may be necessary, depending on the state of the lawn at the time, but that is fairly rare during the spring.
Mow the Lawn
It is important to get an early start on mowing the lawn. Letting the grass get too tall before cutting it will cause it to stop growing and spreading properly once it does get cut. Mowing it every five days or so from the time when it starts to grow again through the first six weeks of spring will strike the right balance. It will not be too long, and it will stay healthy enough to produce a lush lawn throughout the rest of the year. Be sure to either let the clippings rot where they fall or collect them for compost in order to recycle their nutrients!
A thin layer of mulch should go around trees, gardens, and bushes that are in the lawn. Wood chips will often be the best bet, but there are a lot of different types that can work if that type is unavailable. The mulch will help to conserve moisture in the soil and combat the growth of weeds, so it will both ensure that the plants around it can stay healthy and cut down on the work that needs to be done to keep the area looking good.
Trim and Prune
Pruning is the final stage of the preparations. Take a look at all of the trees and shrubs in the yard, and pick out all of the flimsy, damaged branches on them. Calling in a dedicated arborist will ensure that the job is done as well as possible, but it isn’t strictly necessary for routine maintenance near the start of the season. Once all of those branches have been marked, remove them from the trees to make room for new growth. Be careful when doing this to make sure that there are no dangerous accidents!