Spring Lawn Care

By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager, Taken from “Advice from Canton Road Garden Center” – Akron Beacon Journal, 3.29.13

SEEDING- If you are planning to seed a new lawn or overseed an existing lawn, it is best to seed as early as possible. It is important to get seed germinated and growing before trees begin to leef out. This is especially true in shaded areas. Keep the area moist at all times until the roots become established, then you can gradually decrease the frequency of watering. It is best to fertilize the new grass every two to three weeks to grow a stronger root system. The new grass can be mowed when it reaches a height of about 3 inches. Do not let the grass flop over before the first mowing.

REJUVENATING A WEAK LAWN- Your lawn cannot live without air, water and nutrients. When a think layer of thatch builds up, water and fertilizer may run off instead of penetrating the soil. If this is the case with your lawn, aerating or “plugging” the lawn should be done in the spring. An aerator is a small machine that opens up the soil by removing a circular plug about 2 inches in depth. For lawns with severe thatch problems, or if you have heavy or compacted soil, aerate the soil and add a soil conditioner such as gypsum  Dethatching, which is like running a comb through the grass, should not be done in the spring, because too much good grass can be taken in the process. Wait until fall to dethatch your lawn.

CRABGRASS CONTROL On established lawns that you are not overseeding, apply a fertilizer with crabgrass control in early to mid-April. Remember crabgrass seed starts to germinate when the soil temperature reaches 50-58 degrees. Reapply a crabgrass control product in early to mid-June for the second germination of crabgrass.