Prep Your Lawn this Spring, Organically
Sean Breckin, AOLCP

As we move into April it’s still too early to tell what this season will hand us, but we are hopeful temperatures will continue to warm up and we can return to a normal spring. Although it’s always tough to get back in the swing of things, you’ll need to prep your lawn this spring! The following cultural practices are all important to keep in mind this time of year. 

Things to consider as you begin your season:

  1. Note trouble spots. Take note of where snow was piled this winter because this promotes soil compaction. Without help, these areas will grow more weeds with short fibrous root systems (like plantain or crabgrass). Additionally, applications of snowmelt on walkways and driveways can be tough on grass. 
  2. Topdress and overseed areas that are looking stressed to help to re-establish the lawn. Bare soil is the first place weeds take hold.  Once soil temps are over 50°F slice seed or topdress and overseed thin areas that need a thicker stand of turf. We recommend perennial rye, fescues, and Bluegrass for spring. 
  3. Use gypsum to counteract salt damaged areas.
  4. Mowing. Sharpen your blades, return grass clippings, and start low at 2-2.5”. By the end of April you should raise your height to 3 1/2″.  
  5. Remove any leaves or sticks to avoid smothering and killing the grass as it begins to grow. Be careful not to overtake or dethatch: Over the winter, grass naturally dies and goes dormant. Aggressive raking can damage crowns of dormant grass, remove valuable organic matter, and create a thin lawn for crabgrass to take hold later in the season. 
  6. Soil Test to determine soil amendment needs for the season (i.e. lime, organic matter, CEC etc.).  Apply as soon as practical in the season; lime can take up to 6 months to have an effect.
  7. Fertilize with PJC ProHealthy Turf All-Natural Fertilizers once temps are consistently in the 50’s (usually by the 1st week of May and a 2nd application mid to end of June).
  8. Irrigation Check. If you have an irrigation system, check for damage over the winter.  Replace any heads that may have been broken.  Check your watering schedule.  Water deep: 1” week and in the morning.        

Ensuring proper cultural practices are employed will play a significant role in the overall success of your OTC program, so let’s get moving! Contact us if you have questions; we want to help you help your lawns!