Even though there is still snow on the ground, we are just a few weeks away from the emergence of spring which means it is almost time to resume lawn care.
At the start of the lawn care season, there are several chores that must be done to prepare the lawn that includes crabgrass control, dethatching, aeration, over seeding, and fertilization.
By completing each of these tasks one at a time, you can effectively prepare your lawn for a healthy growing season.
Crabgrass prevention is a major concern in many lawns and the most effective way to prevent crabgrass from growing in a lawn is by applying pre-emergent herbicide in the spring.
These pre-emergent herbicides directly attack the seed as it starts to germinate which makes the timing of the application crucial. Crabgrass typically begins to germinate once the soil temperature has stayed above 55 degrees for 3 to 4 consecutive days and once this happens, the pre-emergent herbicide should be applied.
If you do apply pre-emergent in the spring, you cannot apply grass seed until it has worn off which could take up to 12 weeks. It is best to save seeding for the fall season if you apply pre-emergent to your lawn in the spring.
Some homeowners tend to over fertilize their lawn in the spring because they apply fertilizer along with crabgrass pre-emergent which also contains fertilizer on a lawn that may still have fertilizer lingering from the last fall/ winter application. It is important for homeowners to be mindful of this so they do not over fertilize the lawn.
As lawns break their dormancy, they experience a growth spurt in which they use the nutrients left over from the previous season application as well as the fertilizer in pre-emergent applications. One late spring fertilizer application is usually efficient enough to replenish the nutrients used by the lawn in its initial growth spurt.
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The spring season is the best time to de-thatch the lawn which can bring several benefits if it is done before the application of a pre-emergent.
Removing thatch layers in the spring will open up the soil for new growth and allow it to absorb more water and nutrients but if it is done after a pre-emergent is applied, it could cause the pre-emergent to be less effective.
De-thatching also makes it easier for weed seeds to germinate which is another reason why it is better to de-thatch before applying pre-emergent.
Seeding and Aeration
If you apply pre-emergent in the spring, it is recommended to hold off on seeding until the fall. However, if you do not apply pre-emergent in the spring and have bare spots in your lawn, then seeding in the spring could be beneficial.
Aerations are also typically done in the fall but if your soil is too compact or if you are seeding in the spring, you may want to consider doing spring aeration. Both seeding and aeration should be done before applying a pre-emergent herbicide.
As we inch closer to the spring, keep these chores in mind and prepare yourself to begin lawn care as soon as the snow melts away. The application of pre-emergent is important for keeping your lawn free of crabgrass and weeds throughout the growing season but it should be done after de-thatching as well as aeration and seeding if you elect to do that in the spring.
Green T Lawn Care offers fertilizer and crabgrass pre-emergent applications as part of their spring lawn care as well as seeding and aeration services. Contact Green T to learn more about spring lawn care or the spring lawn care services that we provide.