If you live in a climate where your yard has been hibernating for months, then you're probably ready for warmer weather and a hint of green outside your kitchen window. So, in preparation for children running on lush grass through spritzing sprinklers, use the five tips below to get your lawn ready for spring. It will reward you with picnic perfect grass all summer long.
1. Clean Up Winter's Clutter Take a rake and remove all of the dead leaves and debris left over from the winter months. Leaving a layer of last-year's foliage on the ground can smother your grass and hinder your lawn's growth. Once your yard is clear, spread a thin layer of compost to enrich your soil and provide nutrients for when you grass is ready to sprout.
2. Aerate Your Yard Compacted soil makes it hard for roots to grow and water to drain and distribute throughout your yard. So rent an aerator. It uses steel tubes to take plugs from your lawn. These holes will allow air and water to penetrate your soil, which will create healthier and lusher grass.
3. Check Your Soil's PH Most grass and plants grow best when your soil's pH level is between 6.0 and 7.0. Some plants like a little bit more acidic soil, such as hydrangeas and azaleas. Plants grown in soil with their proper pH level are healthier and more resistant to disease. You can buy soil test kits at local garden centers.
4. Prevent Weeds From Growing Once you've aerated and only if you're not planning to plant new grass seed, then distribute a chemical weed preventer, which can be found at any home improvement store. When watered, it creates a barrier on the soil to keep weeds from sprouting.
5. Have Your Lawn Mower Inspected Your lawn mower has been sitting idle all winter, so give it a tune-up before those first blades of grass get too long. Take it into a local service shop to have the carburetor and fuel lines cleaned and the blades sharpened. This will make it run more efficiently and put out a little less pollution. Even if you live in a warm climate and your flowers have been blooming all year, spring is the perfect time to do an annual assessment of your yard.