Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring!
What a winter it has been! Beneath all the snow the fertilizer applied last fall has been lying dormant due to the very cold temperatures and theoretically has kept the vital nitrogen elements from leaving your soil. Basically this means that we can look forward to healthy grass come spring. All this depends somewhat on what happens with precipitation and temperatures between now and when the grass comes out of dormancy. Last spring we saw a extended dry period where lawns could not find the moisture to begin to grow and turn green. In that situation it was imperative to turn on the irrigation system and get much needed water to the plants that were unable to cope with the stresses after a harsh winter. To help eliminate environmental stresses your landscape requires some basic inputs so that it can provide you with a summer of enjoyment.
- Remove any piles of leaves and sticks from the lawn. Do not power rake or dethatch your lawn in the spring. All this will do is activate the weed seeds that have been lying dormant and you will then feel the need to spray them with herbicides.
- Any thin areas or bare areas of the lawn apply a appropriate seed variety (sun or shade), cover with some compost 1/2″ thick. Now I say compost because it is living soil full of organisms compared to the bulk topsoil that is black dead soil sold by most garden centers. Quality compost is hard to find in bulk but is available in bags at those same garden centers. Well worth the price difference. This is the proper cultural method to eliminate weeds from taking over your lawn.
- Apply fertilizer. Organic vs Synthetic I will leave that for another post.
- Keep that seed watered.
- Apply mulch to the beds. Goal is to have a layer 2-4″ thick to suppress weeds and retain moisture. Make sure to keep the mulch from touching the bark of your trees and shrubs.
- When the lawn begins to grow mow it high. This will shade out the weed seeds, retain moisture and not stress the turf plants out by removing too much growth during this period of plentiful nitrogen and cool weather.
- Cut often and leave the clippings to feed the soil.
Until next time enjoy working in your yard. It is a labor of love full of rewards like the beautiful explosion of spring blossoms on azaleas, rhododendrons, pear trees and of course the cherry trees. Have a question drop me a line at_______________________.