The winter months are nearing the end, and it’s time to start looking forward to a gorgeous Michigan spring. During the spring months, your yard will require tender love and care if you want it to survive throughout the year and grow as green and healthy as it can.
Love and attention aren’t too difficult to give, but there are some specific tips and tricks you’ll want to know if you want to truly make a difference in the health and protection of your lawn. Rather than leaving everything to chance, you should be proactive and attentive to the needs of your yard to truly help it flourish after the winter season is finally over. Here are eight tips to consider for your yard during the early spring.
Raking is often seen as the most unimportant and casual step someone can take in maintaining the health of their lawn, but this isn’t always true. Raking your yard will ensure that leaves, trash, and other debris, both natural and unnatural, are clear from the area.
Everything that dies during the winter will still be on your yard and it’s a smart idea to remove this debris if you want your yard to grow healthy and strong during the year. Dead leaves and other common debris can cover the grass and soil, preventing much-needed sunlight for your plants and grass. Snow mold also exists in Michigan and other colder climates, and raking is imperative to remove this inconvenient headache.
If your grass often has brown or discolored patches in it, it may be because it’s experiencing heavy traffic or neglect. You can remove these discolored patches by seeding grass over existing grass, commonly referred to as “overseeding.” Overseeding actually helps the grass in your yard grow because the dead or dying grass is quickly replaced by the newly applied grass you choose to use.
You can also fertilize your overseeded areas for a more stable and frequent growth season during the year. You may choose to either overseed the areas you know to be high trafficked areas, or you can choose to overseed the entire lawn for good measure. Overseeding won’t kill off existing grass and may even provide your lawn with an extra layer of protection and growth. The colder climate and harshness of the Michigan winter will probably require overseeding for the perfect lawn.
Check Your Soil
To the surprise of many, grass grows best when it’s growing with a neutral pH level. Grass can often be too acidic because of the soil it’s growing in. Many harsh chemicals used in yards can increase the acidity and cause patches or an odd, mossy coating over the grass. If you have the time and inclination, you should test the pH level of your grass and take certain steps to bring it back to pH neutral if it’s currently too acidic.
For example, you can add limestone to the grass to make it more neutral, though this takes time as the limestone takes hold of the soil conditions. AAA Lawn Care has free resources to help you determine your soil’s acidity and will let you know what else can be done to make it more pH balanced and ready for the summer and fall months.
Lawns should be fertilized during the spring to make way for the spring and summer growth. Most lawns are still recovering from the cold and deadness of winter, and a good fertilizing can often jumpstart growth and lead to more positive outcomes throughout the year.
However, even though you should fertilize to encourage growth, you should also make sure not to over-fertilize, as this can cause problems with weeds and other pests. It’s also possible that your yard is still semi-fertilized if you fertilized during the later months in fall, such as October, but you should add another layer just to be sure.
Mow, Mow, Mow Your Lawn
A large area of confusion for most homeowners is how soon they should begin to mow their lawn. Although the starting date of your mowing depends on the region and weather in which you live, a good rule of thumb is to start mowing near the start of April.
Even lawns in colder climates like Michigan can sustain mowing in early spring if the grass is growing nicely and supported by other steps on this list. AAA Lawn Care experts recommend mowing your grass until it’s about three inches in height. Mowing during the spring, to this height especially, will keep your grass from becoming overgrown and can even stimulate further and more robust growth through the spring and summer months.
Aeration is a critical step for any healthy lawn because it loosens the soil and keeps the grass fresh and growing. The type, frequency, and intensity of your aeration will largely depend on the soil type of your yard and how you want your lawn to look and feel. If you know you’re going to aerate your lawn, you should do so in the late spring and early summer months.
If you have a cool-season lawn, which grows more robustly in colder climates, you should aerate during the fall. However, if you didn’t aerate during the fall months of the last year, feel free to aerate earlier in the year. Request an estimate below to begin the AAA Lawn Care core aeration journey to stronger, healthier soil.