The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence…right? This year, my goal is to make my side of the fence the greenest! Our grass is more crabgrass than actual grass, so I’ve been trying to tackle the problem. The previous two years, the weeds have won. But is the year that we conquer weeds – I can feel it! Check out these tips I’ve been gathering on what to do now, later and during summer to make this year your (and my) best lawn ever.
It’s been so nice out. I want to start now, but all the research I’ve been doing says…slow down and wait. Here are some things we call all do now:
- Clean up. Remove branches, leaves and other garbage from your lawn.
- Spread Milorganite on your lawn. Do not put regular fertilizer on your lawn yet, you must wait until the ground is at least 55 degrees. Instead, you can rake in this organic, non-burning fertilizer. Raking it in will also help stimulate your lawn growth.
These steps shouldn’t happen until the soil is 55 degrees or higher, this may occur in 2-3 weeks in our area.
- Weed killers. Early spring is the time to get those weeds out of there — before they have time to reproduce! Whether you choose organic or chemical treatment, it’s best to start in spring.
- Dethatch. It’s a strange word and even a stranger looking tool, but if your lawn is in need of serious repair, this will help to break apart dead patches. It looks terrible at first, but will help promote new growth.
- Aerate. Aerating helps water and fertilizer penetrate the roots, improves airflow to the soil, can help break up clumps of weeds. Do this in the spring, but fall may be the best time.
- Fertilize. Around Memorial Day and Labor Day remember to fertilize your lawn. Consult the directions on your fertilizer, but it will most like say to water the lawn immediately and for a week after application.
- Plant seeds. Lay down cool-season grass seeds with your hands or a spreader. Then water to promote growth.
DURING THE SUMMER:
- Adjust your mower blade height. At the beginning of spring it is suggested that grass be trimmed at 1 1/2″ to help promote growth. During the hotter parts of summer, adjust to 2″ and then lower the blade again during the fall.
- Use a sharp blade. A dull blade can cause damage and promote susceptibility to disease.
- A good soak wins over short daily watering. Soaking as opposed to watering daily, helps the grass roots to grow deeper. The best time to water is between 4 am and 9 am. Also, remember that your lawn only needs about one inch of water a week so take into account rainfall to help conserve water.
- Spread more seeds. Midsummer is a good time to add more seeds to the lawn to help grow thicker grass, which can also help to choke weeds out.
Well, I’ve learned a lot about how to make my lawn the best it can be. Wish me luck!