Have you looked at your backyard oasis to find yourself a bit overwhelmed?
Well, we feel your pain. The quick lawn answer is to hire a professional. Reach out to your Real Estate Nation agent to get a list of service options in your area…
We have also provided a few helpful Lawn Care Tips to start and even learn on your own. Try to get the kid’s involved too!
- Dethatch With a Rake
Thatch is essentially dead or dying grass shoots and a little bit (less than 1/2 an inch) of it is actually good for your lawn, but too much thatch can suffocate it. For warm-season grasses, early spring is the perfect time to rake away this debris that can encourage pests and disease. An intense removal of thatch can be rough on your lawn, so make sure you do it at the beginning of a growth period so your lawn can recover properly. For heavy thatch removal (more than one-inch thick), consider a power rake. Otherwise, a stiff yard rake should do the trick.
- Test Your Soil pH then Aerate the Lawn
A healthy lawn needs soil with a balanced pH level, usually between 5 to 7, depending on the type of grass. If the pH level is too high (alkaline), you can add sulfate with a spreader. If your pH level is too low (acidic), you can add lime the same way. Testers are sold for about $10 at any lawn and garden store. Then be sure to read the directions closely on additives to make sure you don’t over- or under-treat your lawn. Once adjustments have been made, water the lawn and test the soil pH again in 30 days. Compacted soil keeps your lawn from thriving. By aerating the lawn during a high growth period, you loosen the soil so water and nutrients are better absorbed and roots have room to grow. There are lots of ways to go about aerating, depending on the size of the your yard. Consider renting a gas-powered aeration tool or a few items found at local store to aerate with (even a pair of shoes you can wear). Late spring (like now) is the perfect time to aerate warm-season grasses, so the grass has time to heal from the process.
- Weed + Feed
Weed and feed is sometimes the most painful ritual, but beware of overdoing it. Make sure you actually have a major weed problem in the main areas before treating your entire lawn. Too many chemicals can stress the plant’s roots, putting your lawn at risk during the intense heat of summer. Consider spot-spraying or pulling broadleaf weeds (AKA dandelions) and applying slow-release fertilizer only if needed.
- Deal With Those Bare Spots
Once your lawn begins to green, you may notice a few dips or bare spots. Don’t panic — you can deal with these areas by flushing the spot with water, raking out any dead grass, then leveling it out with sand and soil. Reseed with your grass variety and water regularly until the new grass is fully established. It helps when there is rain the forecast, so watch closely (like it rained last week).
- Water It Well
All grass needs water. If your home doesn’t have an elaborate in-ground irrigation system, that’s OK (your next house can have it). The next best thing is a well-placed sprinkler on a basic timer. Outdoor timers are relatively inexpensive ($20-30) and ensure you don’t forget those early-morning watering sessions. Or have fun with the kids outside and let them run around for a bit. Change up the areas they play too!
- Maintain Your Mower (or hire it out)
Take care of your mower, and it’ll take care of your lawn. Sharp blades are important so cuts are crisp and the grass heals quickly after cutting. Fresh gas and spark plugs will keep your mower in peak performance mode, just like the water toys. Mowers aren’t cheap and with a bit of annual maintenance, yours can last for many years…serious!
- Mow-Mow-Mow your Lawn
Cool-season grasses have an ideal height of around two to four inches tall. Warm-season grasses are shorter and may require more sessions pushing that mower. Plan to mow your lawn in different directions this year. By mowing in varied directions you ensure a more uniform cut, an upright growth pattern and reduce soil compaction. BONUS: Leave Some Clippings
Know the 1/3 rule, your grass clippings are essentially a natural mulch for your lawn. Clippings are rich in organic compounds and will help feed your lawn, so don’t bother bagging them ALL up. Just make sure you mow when the lawn is dry so the clippings don’t clump up (you know that neighbor that mows in the rain).
Show us your pretty lawn pictures! We love before and afters too.
Original article found here HGTV Spring Lawn.