Whether you are ready for it or not, spring is just around the corner, and we desert dwellers tend to have a love/hate relationship with the season. We love the warmer days, but we also know that the heat of summer is not far behind! But this season is still the season of growth and promise, and now is the perfect time to start preparing your grass yard to ensure that by summer’s beginning, it will be green, glossy, and a yard to be envied by all the neighbors. This guide to prepping your yard for spring will help.
Spring Cleaning Is Not Just for the Inside
As the days grow longer and the mercury rises, we often find ourselves cleaning closets and organizing the junk drawers under the guise of spring cleaning, but that habit should not be limited to the inside only. Your landscape has been neglected during the holidays and deserves a pick me up as well! Rake the leaves that may have fallen, pick up the broken branches from that last storm, and take the time to put away toys, bikes, or even gardening tools you absentmindedly set aside the last time you were piddling about. The best way to ensure a healthy summer lawn is to start with a clean slate.
Prepping Your Yard for Spring Is All About the Soil
Most of us don’t think about the dirt that lies underneath our bed of grass—unless the dog or kids track it in on a rainy day—but for healthy grass, the soil is extremely important! Purchase a soil test kit from your favorite home store and take this time to determine if your dirt is nutrient rich; if it’s not, the test will help you determine what is lacking and head back to your home store to find the additives you need. Following the directions on the bags will be easy, but if you are afraid you might mess something up, give us a call and let us help!
Time to Aerate?
Ask 50 landscapers when the perfect time to aerate is and chances are you will get 50 different answers, but our feeling is that there is no better time than in late spring. Of course, if you are new to grass landscape, you may wonder why it is important to put holes in the yard, especially when you spend most of your year trying to keep critters from making their own holes. Your grass, however, is dependent on air, and the holes created during aeration allow air, water, and other nutrients to reach the roots. Healthy roots will show in the rich dark greenness of the grass that has always been the envy of the neighborhood, and an aerator can be purchased rather inexpensively at a home and garden store!
Increase Your Watering Schedule
In the winter months we enjoy a break from crippling utility bills that accompany the summer’s heat, but when spring hits, it is time to start watering the grass once again—especially if the winter has been as dry as this one has! Your yard needs at least 1 to 1 ½ inches per week, and that number increases as the temperatures increase. Recent weeks in particular have already hit new highs, so you may want to increase the water to 2 inches. The best time to water your grass is in the early morning hours, and you do not need to do it every day. Break it down to 2 or 3 times a week and watch the winter brown start to change to a bright green! How do you know if you have watered too much? The first and most obvious sign will be the weeds sprouting up at an alarming pace. Other signs include the appearance of mushrooms, a musty smell in your yard, and a spongy feel when walking on the lawn. Scale back your watering schedule if any of these “events” begin to occur!
Say Goodbye to Winter Rye
That dark green hue of winter rye is a delight to be seen, but when night temperatures stay above 77 degrees, it will be time to say goodbye to the rye! Scalp your lawn as low as you can and start watering heavily (If you can irrigate, this is the perfect time!) and soon you will see your Bermuda grass peeking through the remaining rye. And although you do not want to overwater, in these early weeks of growth it is important that you water a bit more than normal to ensure that your summer lawn makes a strong appearance.
Every Yard Is Different
Your yard may be showing issues that we haven’t listed on here. Don’t be worried, though, just give us a call at New Image Landscape and Pools and we can work together to figure out the issue!