How to revive your lawn this spring

How to revive your lawn this spring

Now that winter is almost over, it’s time to put away the snow shovel and to look forward to greener times.
Here are 6 tips on stimulating and reviving your winter-weary lawn.


Prepping your mower for spring



Get the equipment ready. Bring in your lawn mower for servicing early before the rush. If you plan to do it yourself, best if you refer to the maintenance manual.

Sharpen the blades, whether you use a gas, electric or manual push mower, or even a riding mower. Sharp mower blades make a clean cut, while dull ones simply shred the tops. The outcome after a few days is browning of your grass blade tips, making your lawn look brown. 


Clean your yard



Rake as soon as the lawn is dry! Besides cleaning it of winter debris such as leaves, branches, doggy do, etc., raking helps stimulate the lawn. You will be fluffing up matted or snow mold patches, thus letting air in. You will also be scratching up some of the thatch (undecomposed layer of grass), which is good. Too much thatch can block sunlight, air and water, and can harbour insects and diseases.


Repair the lawn and seed bare patches



You may find areas of your lawn that have succumbed to some form of winter damage (snow removal, pet spots, etc.) or just bare areas that you neglected to fix last fall. This is a good time to patch the lawn with soil and seed, or with a pre-mixed lawn patch repair product.

Grass seed needs temperatures around 15 °C to germinate, so don’t do this activity too early. 


Use lawn fertilizer



Not too soon, though! In early spring, the grass plant invests its energy in root development. Fertilizing with a high nitrogen product with no slow release (first number on a bag of fertilizer, e.g. 30-0-3) at this early time will divert its energy from root to leaf development. That creates a weaker lawn going into the summer.

Instead, try using a slow-release fertilizer + seed combination such as C-I-L Restore Feed & Seed Lawn Fertilizer 22-0-10. It gives an early gentle fertilizer charge while spreading seed over your existing lawn. Once the grass is growing and being cut regularly, you can apply a standard lawn fertilizer.

Note: If you live on the East Coast, you probably need to augment your soil pH with lime, anytime in the spring. Fertilizing 3 to 4 times every year will provide a thick, healthy-looking lawn that will eventually choke out weeds without the use of herbicides.


How to get rid of crabgrass weeds



You remember having crabgrass last year, but don’t see it now? That’s because crabgrass is an annual plant that goes to seed late in the summer and then dies off. The seeds, come spring, are laying on the ground, and if there is a bare area, those seeds will germinate and grow a new crop this season.

The only way to prevent this germination is to apply a pre-emergent crabgrass control before temperatures reach 18 °C. Or wait until later when the crabgrass has emerged and manually pull it out.

Caution: The use of pre-emergent herbicides will keep all seeds from germinating, and that includes grass seed. If using a preventer in the spring, you will have to wait until fall to do any grass seeding.


How to control broadleaf weeds



If you do not wish to have dandelions and other broadleaf weeds in your lawn, mid to late spring is the time to attack them. If there is a manageable number of weeds in your lawn, you can manually pull them or spot spray them.

Using Wilson WEED OUT Lawn Weed Killer as a spot spray will kill broadleaf weeds down to the roots. If your lawn is very weedy, you can broadcast spray the whole lawn, or use a weed & feed type of product.
Remember, it’s not just about having thick-looking grass. It is more than just a green patch. A lawn sequesters carbon, filters toxins out of rain water, eats CO2 and returns fresh oxygen to the air. It is soft to walk on bare foot and it is significantly cooler than asphalt.







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