Spring Lawn Care Tips
Kansas winters can be harsh and summers can be scorching, so spring is an important time to take steps toward a yard full of green, healthy grass. A few hours of TLC now will help your lawn thrive all season long.
Know What Type of Grass You Have
If your lawn has bluegrass, rye, or fescue, they are cool-season grasses, and they have growth spurts in spring and fall. In the Wichita area, you most likely have a warm-season grass like Bermuda, St. Augustine, or Zoysia. These varieties start growing after the last frost and grow all the way through the middle of summer.
Make sure you have gas on hand for your lawn mower and trimmer, and change the spark plugs or oil on these items if needed. You may want to get your mower blade sharpened, and make sure you have plenty of string for the trimmer.
Clean Up Debris
When your lawn is dry, pick up leaves, twigs and other debris. Doing so when the ground is wet can damage new grass. This is also a good time to put away any children’s toys or other odds and ends that are sitting on the lawn, before they can cause dead spots in the grass.
Dethatch, Don’t Scalp
Many homeowners start the spring season by “scalping” their lawn, cutting the grass down very short with the first mow. This may seem like a good idea to get rid of dead grass, but cutting more than a third of the length is actually harmful for your lawn. Instead, use a rake to dethatch the lawn and pull up matted clippings and dead grass. This will make your yard look better and allow water, fertilizer, and new seed to penetrate down to the roots.
Set Up a Watering Schedule
Unless it’s a rainy spring, you’ll need to start watering as soon as the grass begins to grow. Your lawn will need about an inch of water per week to start.
Treat for Weeds
Stop weeds like crabgrass before they take over your lawn by applying a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring. This type of weed control works well for all types of grasses. However, it lasts for three months, so you’ll have to wait until fall to plant new grass seed.
Plant New Grass
If you’re opting to plant grass seed for a new lawn or to fill in bare patches, skip the pre-emergent weed control, because it will keep grass from sprouting. Plant warm-season grasses in late spring, after the last frost and when temperatures are up into the 70s in the air and 60s in the soil. New shoots of cool-season grasses may not hold up well during the summer heat, so fall is the best time to plant them. If you need to fix bare spots in the spring, make sure those areas get plenty of water all summer long.
If you have issues with fire ants, now is a time to deal with them. Wait until summer to treat for other insects, like mole crickets or grubs.
Test the Soil
If you’re in a new home, or just want to see what can be done to improve the condition of your soil, the Sedgwick County Extension office can do a soil test. It takes about 2-3 weeks to get your results, which will include nutrient and pH levels, as well as suggestions for improving both.
If you have warm-season grasses, apply fertilizer after the last frost when your yard has turned green and the grass has begun to grow. In central Kansas, this will typically be in late April or early May. Fertilizer for cool-season grasses is best left until fall, unless you had a soil test that indicated special nutrients are needed.
If you have warm-season grass, you can aerate your lawn in the early summer, during the peak growth period. Aeration for cool-season grasses is best in fall, but it can be done again in late spring if the ground is really compacted. Using a core or spike aerator to remove small plugs of dirt and grass will allow the roots to spread out and moisture, oxygen, and other nutrients to easily absorb into the soil. You can rent a mechanical aerator or use a manual one.
Maintaining a lush, healthy lawn does take a bit of time and effort, so if you don’t want to do all this yourself, let the professionals at Reddi Lawn Care take care of it for you. Call us today at 316-858-0736 to schedule your service.
Resources found on our website are provided as general guidelines, and Reddi Industries does not assume any liability resulting from the provided information.Previous: When Should You Overseed Bermuda Grass? Next: Preventing Summer Weeds in Kansas