Early Spring Lawn Care Tips
Is Your Turf Dead?
When chances of winter frost are over, your turf should come out of hibernation and begin changing back to its beautiful green state. But before that happens, it will still be brown, looking as though it might have died.
The best way to tell if areas of your lawn didn’t make it through the winter is to pull at the brown areas. If the turf pulls right out quite easily, it didn’t make it. If there’s resistance, there’s hope.
How to Revive Your Lawn
When is the best time to reseed or sod any areas that didn’t make it?
- After the last chance of frost
- When night temperatures top 35 degrees
- When soil temperatures reach 50-65 degrees
If you’re going to reseed, you’ll want to:
- Cut around the dead areas with a spade, then pull out the patch.
- Scatter and lightly rake in seed on the loosened soil.
- Gently mist the areas daily for 15 minutes to keep soil moist and allow the seed to germinate.
- When it germinates, water more heavily.
- Use a high-phosphorous fertilizer to feed the new turf.
- Be sure not to mow your new turf until it has grown at least 3 inches.
If you can afford sod, it’s a lot less work for quicker results. Also, sod is more forgiving than seed in terms of watering and weed resistance.
An Ounce of Prevention
You can’t control the weather, but you can mitigate winter’s affect on your lawn. Add topsoil to low areas of your yard to reduce the impact of ice. Then reseed or sod. If you notice dead turf where you piled shoveled snow, spread out your snow pile next year. To reduce salt damage, apply de-icers after you shovel snow, so salt doesn’t seep into your grass. Also, use calcium chloride-based de-icers, which do less damage than sodium chloride-based salts.