We’re just a few days away from summer, but is your lawn prepared? Ideally, you’ll want to start taking a look at preparing for summer around half way through the spring, but it’s better late than never when it comes to lawn care. And if you’re getting stressed out wondering if you’ll be ready, don’t be. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of things you should prepare and how to do them. Keep reading to learn more.
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Aeration is what allows your lawn to bring in more water, oxygen, and nutrients straight to the roots. Chances are, when you see a really nice green and lush yard during the summer, that same lawn was aerated properly during the spring. If you live in an area like Colorado where warm-season grasses thrive, spring is always the best time to aerate. However, if you have cool-season grass like bluegrass or ryegrass, you’ll need to aerate in fall.
If you have the money for it, you should be aerating every year, however, if not, you’ll want to aerate every two to three years. High-traffic areas need more aeration because the grass will die more quickly and get packed down.
Similar to a lawn that’s not aerated, thatch prevents nutrients, water, and sunlight from reaching grass roots. If you notice that your grass is being suffocated by a layer of dead and compact grass, grab a dethatcher (thatch rake) to go over your lawn. Another thing to note is that thatch is more likely to form by sidewalks, so you can take an edge trimmer and go around the perimeter of your lawn to break this up. Thatch can also be made up of dead leaves which may still be stuck in your lawn if you didn’t rake everything up once fall was over. Make sure to check for this as well.
Note that mowing will not remove thatch unless you have it set very low to the ground. This is bad for your grass because it can completely strip it and leave you with dead spots in your lawn. Always have the proper tools for removing thatch before you begin.
Not all grasses should be fertilized the same way. When warm season grasses become vibrant in the spring, you’ll want to use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer on it. However, with cool-season grass, you’ll want to fertilize after winter dormancy, early fall, and early spring. During the fall application period, try to use a fertilizer with more nitrogen and scaled back about a month before the hottest days of the year.
Just because it’s spring doesn’t mean you shouldn’t water your lawn. Since spring is the peak growing season for most grass here in Colorado, you’ll want to make sure it’s getting as much grass as it needs. Typically, your grass will need about an inch of water a week during this part of the season, so make sure you plan accordingly.
The problem with your grass not getting enough water in the spring is that it will not develop a healthy root system that will enable it to survive during summer drought conditions. Contrary to what many people believe, frequent light watering is not the best way to create healthy grass. Try watering heavily once or twice a week during the morning or at night so it doesn’t evaporate immediately.
Mowing correctly is another important part of late spring yard maintenance. Try to keep the following things in mind as you mow during this time.
- Try raising your mower height right before summer hits. Not only will this prevent you from stripping the grass and killing it, but grass should be a little longer in the summer in order to prevent too much sun from reaching the soil and dehydrating it.
- Mowing frequently will help keep grass roots strong.
- Make sure to reseed any bare patches on your lawn before summer. Once drought season comes around, it’s very unlikely that new grass will be able to grow due to the heat. In order to see more robust growth, you’ll need to use nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
Contact Mac Equipment
One of the most important things you can do to prepare for summer is to get your lawn mower or any other outdoor equipment repaired or replaced. At Mac Equipment, we have everything you need to get the summer started off right in Loveland and Longmont. We can repair everything from lawn mowers to hedge trimmers and chainsaws and offer a wide variety of both new and used equipment. Contact us today.