With the weather becoming less wet and the sun coming out more often and longer, spring is the perfect time to start improving your lawn. Since your yard would be a popular spot for various activities this summer, you need to spend plenty of time turning it into the ideal recreational venue.
Spring is also the best time to start repairing your lawn from any damage it incurred from winter. Snow molds, crown hydration, and winter desiccation are some of the huge problems you need to deal with to have a healthy and attractive outdoor space again.
However, to have a perfectly healthy and appealing outdoor space this spring and summer, there are several mistakes you have to steer clear of. Lawn care professionals in Crestview, Florida share below the top seven blunders you have to avoid:
1. Mowing with unsharpened mower blades
Whether you plan to mow your lawn right away or wait for a few weeks, avoid using your mower until you have the blades sharpened.
When you use a mower with dull blades, you will end up tearing your grass. As a result, you will have “white-tipped” grass blades. Your lawn will have light-colored tips and look dry and in need of frequent watering even if it is sufficiently hydrated.
Additionally, dull mower blades result in uneven cuts. Grass that is too short, torn, or ripped is more prone to disease and insect damage.
To avoid having additional lawn problems to deal with during spring and summer, have your mower blades sharpened before using the equipment.
2. Starting a weed treatment too early or too late
Once weeds have sprouted, it can be hard to remove them manually. You will also have to resort to spraying your lawn with an herbicide that is often unsafe for kids and pets.
However, if you apply a pre-emergent weed treatment too early, the product can wash away even before the unwanted plants pop up.
The best practice for getting rid of weeds during spring is to apply a pre-emergent treatment as they are about to sprout. By doing so, you can avoid using harsh chemicals later on or apply less of them when the crabgrass, pigweed, chickweed, and other problematic plants start appearing.
3. Growing new grass while getting rids of weeds
Although you want your lawn to look green as soon as possible, avoid rushing into growing new grass, especially if your yard has some weeds or you want to apply a pre-emergent treatment. If you do both at the same time, you will end up wasting time and money.
To have a healthy and green lawn before summer, get rid of the weeds first. Apply pre-emergent treatment as soon as you see them sprouting and remove the large ones by hand.
If your lawn has some healthy grass, continue taking care of them, and use a pre-emergent corn gluten treatment since this won’t affect your plants with established root systems.
Once you have dealt with your weed problems, you can start growing new grass.
4. Planting grass too early
Spring is the best time to get rid of bare spots and unhealthy areas on your lawn. However, you also have to find the perfect time to start growing grass.
If you start seeding too early, the grass may end up competing with weeds that are emerging and you haven’t gotten rid of yet. Because of this, your grass may only be suffocated by the unwanted plants.
As already mentioned, plant new grass once you have dealt with the weeds. Additionally, if you have a warm-season variety, wait until daytime temperatures reach 65°F and over. By doing so, you ensure the seedlings will have a great head start before summer.
If you have cool-season grass, wait until the soil temperature reaches at least 40°F.
Additionally, to ensure the healthy growth of your grass, water them sufficiently. Keep the area where you planted the seeds moist for 10 to 14 days.
And as an additional tip, consider planting a combination of at least two varieties instead of only one. This will give you a lawn that is more disease-resistant and likely to survive droughts, heavy rains, and flooding.
5. Fertilizing at the wrong time
To get the most out of fertilizers, you have to use the best product for your lawn. Moreover, you have to know when to apply it.
If you have warm-season grasses such as zoysia and Bahia, you can encourage their healthier growth when you fertilize them once temperatures reach 80°F to 95°F. If you do this when conditions are still cold, you will only feed the weeds. As such, save your fertilizer for a warmer day.
In case you have cool-season grass like ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, or tall fescue, they will benefit greatly if you fertilize them when the temperature is between the range of 60°F and 75°F.
This means that you can apply fertilizer on your lawn early in the spring as soon as you have nursed your grass back to health and have started growing new ones.
6. Mowing too low
If you like cutting your grass too low, you have to stop making this a habit.
Short grasses are likely to become unhealthy. When you cut them too close to the ground, you prevent them from capturing enough sunlight. Because of this, they won’t have adequate energy to grow the sturdy roots they need to help them survive the summer.
To ensure you are trimming your grass properly, keep them between 2.5 to 3.75 inches. Also, remove only a third of the blades at each mowing.
Lastly, unless you are growing your lawn from scratch, avoid making the mistake of watering it too much.
Use enough water to keep the soil in your lawn evenly moist. Avoid overwatering it since you can cause the grass to become waterlogged, which can lead to diseases.
Established lawns need about an inch of water every week. If it frequently rains in your area, use a rain gauge to tell if your yard is hydrated enough. If not, you have to take out the hose.
Providers of lawn care services in Niceville, Florida say you can also try the footprint test to see if your turf is dry. Walk across your lawn; if you can still see your footprints in the grass after several seconds, it needs more water.
Lastly, remember to water deeply so that the roots are hydrated sufficiently.
When you take care to avoid these mistakes, you will surely have a beautiful, healthy lawn before spring ends and summer starts. You will have fewer things to worry about and you will be able to enjoy the warmer weather and your outdoor activities more.