Sometime in the next 4 weeks it will be time to cut that lawn for the first time. For those of you lucky enough to have a service like ours, what do you need to do? Nothing.... Sit back, relax, and watch the Spring Clean-Up, First applications of fertilizer and weed control applied at the perfect times, and the first cutting of the season scheduled and completed when it needs to be. Watch mulch and soil amendment applied, annual flowers installed, and all of this perfect by the end of May.
But for those of us that are not so lucky.....................read on.
If you have to complete these maintenance tasks yourself, what needs to be done over the next few weeks? Well, first things first. If you want the best looking lawn and landscape in the neighborhood, you will need the following in the next 4 weeks.
1. Spring Clean-Up
2. Lawn Cutting
3. Fertilization of turf areas(covered in the last blog)
Lets address the first two items and when they should be completed.
1. Spring Clean-Up.
Ok, you want to get in your beds and start to rake and cultivate and work that soil, right? Don't. These next few weeks your beds can be significantly compacted by walking on them. Not to say you can't go around and pick up sticks, branches, debris blowing around. It's time to do that. But you will want to wait until that soil has warmed up below the surface before any heavy bed work is completed. I would say April 15-30th this year will be the time to get in those beds.
Then get in there and cultivate down 3-6". It is a good time to prune any dead or broken branches off of plants, trees, etc. Cut to the ground any ornamental grasses, and amend mulch to maintain a nice 3" mulch layer if you have mulched beds. For topsoil beds, adding in compost or soil/compost mix to amend to 3" will be beneficial for those plants or future annual flower planting. For rock or gravel beds, leaf and debris should be blown, raked, or picked out and any weeds pulled out that may just be starting to emerge. Pull any weeds that you see in all beds for that matter. Any weeds you can pull prior to those weeds going to seed will help keep the beds weed free.
Turf areas can be raked or blown to remove any leaf or debris on top. Heavy raking especially in shade areas should be avoided until grass plants take proper rooting and begin to grow. Otherwise the existing grass plants can be raked up and areas will need to be reseeded.
Are there any bare turf areas from snow plowing, dog damage, thin areas from the prior season? Mix up some seed with compost and topsoil or a bag of garden mix. Use the highest quality sun or shade seed depending on your conditions and you will have a great patch mix for these bare areas. 2 shovelfuls of soil and one baseball sized handful of seed should do it. Topdress with this mix of soil and seed.
That should cover it for the Spring Clean-Up. This can be a gradual process over the next 60 days so it is completed prior to June 1, or all done at once. Remember that mulching done in early Spring will have to contend with heavy rains in May so may fade and not look as fresh in June and July. Delaying mulch amendments to later in the Spring may look better aesthetically for the rest of the season.
Lawn maintenance should be completed the first week that 1" of the grass blade can be cut off. When will that occur to your lawn? Somewhere around the 2nd to 4th week of April this year. Is your lawn equipment ready?
Now is the time to get that mower, trimmer, and blower in for a tune up. Drain out old gas and refill with fresh. Replace the spark plug and change the oil. And don't forget that every mower needs a sharp blade and scrape out all dead grass and stuff from underneath the deck. This can spread fungus and disease if old grass is not removed. I recommend for a residential home to sharpen the blade once in the Spring and once in the Summer. The mower should not be tearing the grass blade. You can look at the grass blade after the lawn is cut and assess if it is being cut or torn. Our company sharpens blades daily and this is necessary to get a great cut.
So, are you ready for Spring. Get out there and get those lawns and beds in top condition.
And remember that if you need any help with these services, or it seems like this will be too much work this Spring, give us a call.
For more information or to receive an estimate for lawn maintenance services go to: