Winter can be a long and boring season, especially when it comes to your lawn. Lawn growth slows, and it’s our mission just to keep it alive so that it will come back with a vengeance in spring.
When those first warm rays of spring sun start breaking through you want your turf to be ready and raring to make the most of them. Dusting off the gardening gear in anticipation and prepping your lawn for spring will make sure that you get your lush green lawn back to A1 condition as soon as possible.
Here’s what you need to do to get your lawn ready for spring.
A high quality lawn fertiliser should be applied at the end of August or at the beginning of September, right when the seasons are about to change.
This will pack your soil full of nutrients that the grass can latch on to when it comes out of its dormant state.
Winter is a time when all matter of leaves, sticks and other debris settles on your lawn. This sort of stuff blocks oxygen and sunlight from reaching the grass. Rake it all up so that the lawn can access as much sunlight and oxygen as possible.
Debris blocks airflow as well, which contributes to infestation and infections. Removing prevents this and allows new blades of grass to push through the surface unblocked.
Getting on top of weeds before they even emerge is the best way to deal with them. Prevention is always better than cure! So, at the end of winter, before the little devils have even sprung, apply a pre-emergent herbicide which will allow your lawn to revive in spring without having to compete with nasty weeds.
As always, just make sure that you’ve got a herbicide which is made to be used with your turf type. Buffalo grasses are notoriously sensitive to regular herbicides and need their own buffalo-friendly type so that the lawn is not damaged as well.
Over winter, soil can become compacted, meaning that its oxygen levels will be down, and we all know that a healthy lawn needs lots of oxygen to grow big and strong!
Most people don’t have their own aerator tucked away in the garden shed, but they’re easy to hire or borrow. Run the aerator over the lawn to get that precious oxygen back into the soil.
The aeration will help in the warmer months by allowing the less frequent rain to soak into the soil rather than just running off.
The end of winter is also a perfect time to check the pH level of the soil. You can easily grab a pH testing kit from a hardware or gardening store and a gardening store should also be able to give you advice as to the recommended pH for your area and your lawn type.
If the pH level needs correcting, now is the time to do it. Getting your soil in premium condition before spring is essential for launching your turf into spring with gusto.
Now is the time to give your mower a once-over to make sure it’s in working order. Check that the blades are sharp, the air filters are clean, the oil is fresh, and that the fuel is topped up. You may need to get it serviced professionally if you can’t do all that yourself.
Even though your lawn is slow growing over winter, you may need to give it one last mow before spring sets in. Just make sure that you don’t cut it to any less than a third of its height. Cutting it too low will weaken it and make it susceptible to diseases, which is the last thing you want at this late stage in the season. We want our lawns healthy and ready to spring into spring, not on the back foot with a pesky winter disease.
Try to use a catcher on your mower which will stop the mown grass from settling on the lawn and blocking the airflow, sunlight, and oxygen we just talked about.
Prepping your lawn for spring will launch your turf into the warmer months with everything it needs to stay green, lush, and healthy all the way through ‘til next winter.