Springtime lawn tips and the nutrient requirements for lawns as they transition from the winter to the spring.
Nutrients are necessary in order for the lawn to grow during the spring. People often question why they need to fertilize when the grass appears to be brown and dead. It's important for you to know that although the grass appears to be brown, the roots are still very much alive.
As many of our customers are aware we have been applying pre-emergence weed control throughout the winter to help control the weeds as the spring comes around. I’d like to share some additional inexpensive things a homeowner can do to their lawn to make it look better this spring. These suggestions will help maximize the growth of the grass in your yard this spring:
1. Rake out the dead areas of your yard. This process is called thatching. Over time, lawns develop a thatch of dry, dead grass at the base of the grass blades. Thatch stops sun and water from reaching the roots of the grass and impedes growth. Most lawns benefit from a springtime dethatching so that the grass has time to recover over the summer.
2. Resod the areas of your yard where the grass missing. You can either buy grass sections from your local retailer or use a post hole digger to transplant grass from the edge of your yard to these bald patches.
3. Aeration of your yard is also very important. This is one of the most important cultural practices that a homeowner can perform, or have performed, on their lawn. You obviously can’t just plow up your yard like a farmer would do, so the only cultural practice that can be performed is aeration. This core aeration helps relieve compaction and allows for better penetration of water and the better absorption of nutrients. Our company performs this service for our customers through March and then we will start back up in November. In summary November to March is the time that we do our aeration in preparation for the spring green up and it’s my suggestion that you do it during that time as well.
Let’s talk about Nutrients.
The major nutrients that lawns need are: nitrogen and potassium and in some cases phosphorus. Phosphorus has been in the news recently as one of the pollutants that get into our water supply so therefore its usage has been limited to only a ¼ pound of application per thousand square feet of lawn, per year.
One of the things that we as a company is require all of our technicians go through the Green Industry Management Practice classes and they are certified by the state as a GIBNP. This certification is a requirement that will be in place January, 2014. It basically states that any person applying fertilizer will have to have a certification by the state and be required to pass a course. They will then be required to take continuing education on the subject. All of our technicians are are already in compliance with this new law.