For most homes, the yard is neglected throughout the winter months. The colder weather keeps your family indoors while the lawn is out of sight and out of mind. When you finally check on the yard in early spring, you will probably see leftover leaves from the late fall months, bits of sticks, and a few stray stones from your garden path.
The first step in preparing your lawn for springtime is to begin at one corner of the yard and systematically pacing back and forth with a garbage bag, bin or wheelbarrow. Your first goal is to pick up trash and debris that is either non-organic or difficult to rake. Depending on the size and status of your lawn, you may need to employ multiple containers to sort the trash appropriately.
After that is complete, go through with a rake and gather up all of the leaves and sticks for proper disposal. (See Hampton, VA’s Leaves and Grass disposal FAQ)
With your grass properly uncovered and clear, you may notice some obvious bald patches and brown areas. If it helps, draw a map of your lawn and use crayons or colored pencils to identify target regions to show special attention.
All winter long, your dormant grass has been taking a beating from the chilly elements. The lawn goes into a process called desiccation where the grass blades lose their moisture and turn brown while the roots are too frozen to pull up any additional moisture. The grass is not completely dead and will return to health once the warmer weather rolls in.
When the soil temperature reaches at least 55°F, it is time to apply fertilizer to your lawn. Taylor’s has two digital soil thermometers available online. The Rapitest Digital Soil Thermometer measures only soil temperature whereas the Rapitest 3-Way Digital Soil Test checks for pH, soil temperature and soil fertility. It may be important to check pH level if you fear damage from deicing salt runoff.
After waking up from its long nap over the winter, your grass is very hungry to grow. The springtime weather when your lawn is warmer than 55°F is ideal for applying Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Fertilizer or Jonathan Green Green-Up Lawn Fertilizer that comes with extra crabgrass prevention. You’ll find the flow chart from Jonathan Green for which grass fertilizer to apply when below.
While there might be quite a few more tasks that you might want to get done before spring, we want to help you keep the list manageable with some of the typical items that need inspection:
Fix any cracks in your driveway and apply sealcoat if needed
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Thanks for reading with Taylor’s 2019 Winter Guide to Lawn and Garden Preparation! We trust it contained helpful information for you. Stop by any one of our 11 locations for more helpful tips and advice from one of our friendly staff members!