Here in the Pacific Northwest, lawns are bursting to life. I've already mowed once. It may be just the right time where you live to begin spring landscaping, starting with the lawn. Most landscaping and lawn-care services I've dealt with insist on organizing and executing a step-by-step regimen to ensure a thriving lawn through the fall. Here's a good one:
1. Raking and de-thatching
The deeper you can rake now, the better the opportunity for grass roots to absorb nitrogen and water come the heat of summer. You can prevent bald spots and brown lawns by attending to aerating and thatch in late spring or late fall.
2. Amending your soil
Even the greatest landscaping ideas can come to ruin if your soil pH test shows high acidity. Grasses love a neutral pH. Ask your lawn contractor for a soil analysis and, if necessary, a lime amendment.
Re-seed or overseed the bare patches in your lawn. Rake out debris or dead grass if you haven't done that already. Use a similar seed to the kind you used when you planted the lawn. Rake it in deep and apply a starter fertilizer to the section; then cover it with mulch. Water re-seeded sections twice daily and mow the new lawn to 2 inches to promote root growth.
If you fertilized last fall, you should only apply a light amount in the springtime. Bombard your lawn with nitrogen in the spring and you inhibit root growth. You can end up a feeble lawn and lots of weeds.
5. Pre-emergent herbicides
They're not for everyone. Some people do like their granular crabgrass preventers. You should realize that pre-emergent chemicals can also negatively affect the growth of your grass. Lawncare experts say that the right soil pH, a committed watering schedule and routine weeding can take care of crabgrass without the use of chemicals. Now's the time of year to make your choice.
6. Revving up the machines
Before you mow, get your blades sharpened. If you drained the oil, re-fill the mower and clean your plugs and air filter. Get out the trusty weed whacker and tune it up, too. If you need fresh line, fill it up now.
It's easy to get all of these short projects done before things start heating up in North America.