For most of us, that weekly lawn mowing ritual has begun again. There are also other spring tasks that should be done now, and a few that shouldn’t.
First the “Don’ts.” There are still people who pay good money to have their lawns rolled each spring. Most of our soil is heavy clay, and rolling only compacts the soil so there’s no space for water and air between the particles. The antidote is aerifying – pulling plugs of soil out to create spaces for water and air. A better investment would be to skip the rolling and go directly to aerifying.
Another “Don’t”: applying lime. Lime is applied to acid soil to increase the pH, but most of our soil is neutral or alkaline already. Grass grows best in neutral soil. So, lime should only be applied if a soil test indicates that your soil is acidic.
A soil test is actually a good idea for several reasons. Besides telling you the pH, a soil test will also tell you whether your lawn needs fertilization, and if so, which nutrients need replenishing. This can result in a substantial saving of both time and money.
You probably don’t need to apply grub control, or have it applied, if your lawn was treated for grubs last fall. This results in an environmental saving, as well as a cost saving. By spring, grubs have grown big and strong, so more aggressive applications are needed to control them. In fall, they are newly hatched, so they are small and weak, requiring less material to control them.
Now for some of the “Dos”. Be sure your mower blade is always sharp for a nice, clean cut, rather than a ragged cut. Sharpness should also be checked periodically during the mowing season.
Set your mower height at 2.5” to 3”. Taller grass discourages weed growth, retains water better and is healthier.
Last but not least, let your grass clippings fall to the ground, decompose and return nutrients to the soil. This practice is called Grasscycling.
If you don’t want the cares and worries of maintaining your lawn’s health, talk to us about a lawn care program this season and let our professionals take the guesswork out of your lawn care.