Spring has arrived and before you know it you’ll be trading in your snow shovel for your lawnmower. This is a crucial time for your lawn and the best way to ensure a healthy green lawn this summer is to start off right. To give your lawn a fair shake, there are a few guidelines one should follow.
Do A “Walkthrough”. A lot can happen in just a few short months and your lawn has had several months of little or no maintenance. Before starting to mow your yard, walk through it and clear it of any sticks, stones, or other debris that may damage your mower. This will also make your lawn look tidy and helps prevent yellow spots.
Be Patient. There is no set time that you should mow for the first time, as it varies by region. Weather and the length of the grass are the biggest factors when it comes to when you should pull out your mower. In most regions, the first two weeks of April bring warmer weather and mowers are pulled from the garage.
However, instead of scheduling your first mow using a calendar, monitor your lawn. You should wait until the grass is completely dry and has reached a length of 2 inches. When cutting your lawn for the first time, you should only be removing the top ⅓ of the grass. If you cut the grass when it is too short, or cut too much off the top, called “scalping”, your lawn will be open to disease and infestations. Waiting until your grass is long enough also protects the roots. A strong root system is essential for a lush, green lawn later in the season.
Be sure to use a lawnmower with sharp blades to reduce damage to your lawn.
Water Correctly. Avoid watering directly after mowing. There is no steadfast rule to when you should water, just observe your lawn and water when you notice that it is in need of moisture. Waiting until the heat slightly wilts your grass before you water after mowing will help it grow stronger. By doing this, the roots will grow deeper which helps when experiencing a dry season.
Water deeply and infrequently, averaging about an inch per week. The best time to water is the first thing in the morning. This is when the air is cool, giving the water a chance to get down to the roots before evaporating. Watering in the evening does not allow the grass to dry enough, leading to fungal problems. Watering in the middle of the day is not a good idea either as the water acts as a magnifying glass and can burn the blades of your grass.
Feed your lawn. It is a good idea to fertilize your lawn in two stages in spring. The first time sometime from February and April and the second in May or June. The first round of fertilization provides your lawn with energy, the second keeps it nourished as the growing season arrives.
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