Spring lawn care for healthier grass

With spring weather teasing us, we are anxious to get out into the yard and start our yard and gardening chores, but be cautious when starting spring yard work. Spring lawn care at the right time is important if you want to have a healthy lawn this summer.

The most common mistake made with lawn care, is raking the lawn too early in the spring.  Everyone wants to enjoy the warm weather, so they rush outside to rake their lawn.  Raking your lawn is important but not while the ground is still frozen.  You should rake your lawn when the frost is completely out of the ground and the soil has dried from winter moisture.  Once the frost is out of the soil and the soil has warmed up, the roots of your grass come out of winter dormancy and start growing.  You want to do the raking after the roots have had a chance to ‘wake up’ and get a grip in the soil, otherwise if you rake too soon you will pull out both healthy and dead grass from your lawn.  Pulling the rake over the ground too early can also damage the roots of the grass and break off healthy grass at the surface.  So be patient this spring and wait until the ground is warm and dry before raking – your lawn will thank you for it.

Many home owners ask “why should I rake my lawn?”  Raking your lawn is like combing your hair.  It is a form of spring grooming.  It is important to rake your lawn when spring conditions allow, in order to remove, the dead grass buildup from last fall.  This is important because if you leave this dead grass on the lawn from year to year it will buildup and cause thatch.  Thatch is the buildup of dead grass in your lawn and prevents water and nutrients from penetrating the ground and getting down to the roots of your grass, where it is needed. Most thatch can be removed with a good hard raking, but if the layer is too thick you may have to rent a dethatching machine from one of our local sources. 

Many people think that burning your lawn in the spring saves all of the hard work of raking.  If you want a healthy lawn never ever burn it.  Burning your lawn is harmful to your lawn because the heat from the fire can damage the remaining healthy grass. Many argue that, burning provides nutrients to the soil but when burning your lawn those nutrients are very short lived and are often washed away completely with the first rain.  You also need a permit from the town to burn in your yard.  So save yourself the hassle of getting a permit and treat your lawn to a good raking instead.  Your lawn will be healthier for it. 

These handy tips will get your lawn started on the road to proper care.  Just remember to enjoy the warm weather and let your lawn enjoy it for a while longer too, before you rake.