1. Getting your lawn mower and trimmer ready
Putting some time into making sure your equipment is running at its best performance will make your lawn season go much smoother. Following a basic maintenance checklist each spring will get you on the right track.
2. Repairing and cleaning turf
Doing some small leveling to your lawn will go a long way. High spots on your lawn can be scalped by the mower and low spots will to be cut by the mower causing unnecessary stress to your lawn. After filling in low spots and leveling down high spots dethatching or aerating may be needed. If you try to stick a garden fork into the ground and cannot penetrate 2″, your lawn is compacted and should be aerated. Dethatching is the process of removing excess dead material from the surface of the lawn below the grass blades. Having to much thatch can make it difficult to water and getting nutrients into the soil.
3. Over seeding
Once you have finished you lawn repairs, applying seed to bare or brown areas. Prior to applying seed it is good practice to take a soil test to determine if your lawn is lacking in nutrients. Now its time to pick the seed. Is your lawn shady or sunny, or a mix? Taking note of this will be necessary for the type of seed you will need to buy. You will also need to know the square feet of the area that you will be applying new seed to. After planting new lawn seed, you cannot just leave it. You need make sure your soil is staying moist and you apply a slow release low nitrogen fertilizer. Doing this will replace the turf damaged by lowering and raising of soil levels and thicken your lawn and help prevent weeds from taking over.
4. Applying lawn fertilizing and weed control products.
Using a slow release fertilizer and spraying to control weeds will get your lawn off to a good start. Before you go to the store and just grab some fertilizer and a spreader, and some weed killer, you will need to calculate how much you will need. Using to much can destroy your lawn and using to little would be a waste of money. After you have the square feet of the area you will be treating, you can head to the hardware store or local nursery to pick up some fertilizer and weed control. MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW ALL DIRECTIONS ON THE LABEL!!! Not following proper label instructions can cause significant damage to your lawn leading to costly repairs. If you have reseeded your lawn DO NOT and any weed preventive or your seeds WILL NOT germinate. Using these products in correct combination can vastly improve the quality and health of your lawn.
5. Getting ready for the first mow!
Now that you have your mower tuned up and your grass is growing strong its time for the first mow. Most believe that mowing just involves pushing a loud machine through tall grass on a hot day. But the truth is proper mowing height and frequency are important to the health of your lawn. Mowing your lawn to short will cause the grass to loose stored nutrients and exposes the soil to sunlight allowing weed to take root more easily. Mowing grass at proper height for its type will allow the grass to grow thicker creating a larger root system preventing weeds to germinate. Last step before starting to mow, make sure you are only cutting of 1/3 of the grass blades causing less stress on the plant. Leaving your grass clipping on the lawn during the summer protects the soil and allows stored nutrients from the grass blades to seep back into the soil.