If your lawn needs a little bit of a makeover, you can get it ready for spring. Here are several tips to help you do that.
Mow grass to two inches
When it comes to mowing your lawn, you want to be sure to do it right. A lawn that is too short can stress out its grass and leaves. It also can expose the grass to unwanted weeds, insects and heat. You should aim to have a lawn that is at least 2 inches tall in the summer and 3 inches in the spring. This will allow for the grass to grow properly and give it a chance to show off its best features. You might want to consider using electricity-powered lawn mowing equipment to make the job easier.
The optimal mowing height varies depending on the weather conditions and your area. A cool season grass may only require a trim or two while warm season species will need to be mowed to at least one inch. The standard lawn mower is capable of achieving a standard mowing height of around two inches. If you need more advice on how to mow your lawn, talk to your local Cooperative Extension service.
The best time to mow your lawn is in the early hours of the morning. This will allow for a more thorough cleaning of the grass and will reduce the chances of stale strands of winter-burned grass from settling in. When mowing your lawn, you should be aware of the fact that winter debris can still be present. You should make sure to bag your clippings to avoid spreading disease-causing pathogens.
The standard mower is capable of achieving a standard cutting height of 2 inches, however, you may want to lower it by a couple of inches if you live in a colder climate. A shorter cut will also remove the winter-burned strands and prep the turf for the onslaught of the spring months.
Top dressing is a process to improve your lawn’s surface. This method involves spreading a thin layer of material over your grass to help it grow and retain moisture. It is generally applied after mowing the lawn. You should then water the lawn to allow the top dressing to soak into the soil.
To apply topdressing, you need to know how much you need. This is determined by the size of your lawn and its type of soil. You can check this by using a test kit from the Cooperative Extension Service.
If your lawn has thatch or fast growing turf, you may need to use a heavier topdressing material. During the spring or fall seasons, thinner layers can be applied more frequently. However, thicker layers should be applied only a few times a year.
Topdressing can be applied to your lawn with simple tools. These include a garden rake and a pail. You can also buy a small hand-powered push topdresser that uses whirring blades. It is recommended that you start by applying a small amount to a few feet of lawn at a time.
A good top dressing should blend well with the soil and be smooth. This ensures that it can penetrate the grass. It should also be light enough to not suffocate the grass. You should also keep a few days between applying topdressing and mowing the lawn.
You can also spread topdressing with a garden leveller. This will make it easier to work the material into the soil. You should also avoid disturbing the live roots of the grass.
Spring is the time to fertilize your lawn for the best results. A well-fed lawn will be stronger and more resilient to heat and drought. It also will help keep weeds at bay.
The trick to choosing the right fertilizer is knowing which elements are most important. Some elements, like nitrogen, add protein and shoot density to your grass. Others, like phosphorus, help improve the establishment rate of your grass.
Using a slow-release fertilizer with high nitrogen will allow your grass to get the nutrients it needs throughout the season. However, you should not use fertilizer if your soil is frozen. Keeping your lawn moist will encourage its roots to grow deeper.
While there are many advantages to using fertilizer, you don’t have to overdo it. Depending on your climate, you may need to fertilize your lawn as often as every six or eight weeks.
During the spring, your lawn is probably begging for extra nutrients. The best way to feed your lawn is to use a slow-release, high-nitrogen granular fertilizer. These are safe for humans and pets.
When choosing a fertilizer, it’s best to go with a product that contains the ingredients in the best ratio. A balanced mix of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium will enhance your grass’s ability to resist disease and drought. It’s a good idea to use organic materials in your fertilizer.
For the best results, apply your fertilizer around mid-May. This will ensure that your grass will have plenty of food to survive the summer.
When spring comes, it is important to control weeds before they grow. These plants take up space and compete for water and nutrients with desirable plants. But what are the best practices for weed control?
The first step is to identify the type of weed you have. The two most common types are summer and winter annuals. There are also biennials and perennial weeds. These weeds reproduce by seeds and tubers, but they do not survive for more than one growing season.
The most effective way to control annual weeds is to lay black plastic over them. It does not let the weeds see sunlight, and it kills the surrounding grass. This method must be applied for 6-8 weeks.
Another effective way to control weeds is to hand-pull them. This is easier with clump-forming weeds. You can also use a weeder or a tarp. You should wear gloves and sit comfortably to get the job done.
You can also apply a post-emergent herbicide. Some of the most common post-emergent herbicides are glyphosate, carfentrazone, and diquat.
For the most effective results, you should apply the weed killer in early spring. The goal is for weeds to die off completely. If they do not, they may sprout in the same season or the following.
It is important to follow all instructions on the product label. You can also ask an expert at the garden center.
Add a butterfly puddling stone
A butterfly puddling stone is a maintenance-free lawn decor that can add a touch of flair to your garden. The best part is that it’s weather-resistant, and won’t fade, crack, or decay for years.
You can make a similar puddle yourself by filling a shallow container with coarse sand and watering it daily. Place the puddle in a sunny spot, or at least out of the wind.
The biggest challenge is keeping it moist. Adding salt to your puddle can also help attract more butterflies.
There are several different ways to create a puddle, including a concrete one or a simple shallow dish filled with sand. But if you really want to attract hummingbirds, you’ll need to move the water around.
You can use a terracotta plant saucer, a plastic plant pot, or even a pie tin. Regardless of your choice, the puddle must be wet.
The best part about this particular gimmick is that it can be a hit with hummingbirds. They are most active in the warm weather months, and they’ll appreciate the novelty of a water dish.
A puddle is a great way to attract these fluttering beauties, especially if they haven’t gotten too far away from home yet. They’re also a great source of fun. Besides, they can help you get a little exercise!
While a butterfly puddling stone isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when it comes to your landscaping, it can be an interesting accent to your flower garden.
Create a compost bin
A compost bin is an excellent way to prepare your lawn for the spring. Not only does it reduce the amount of waste that goes into the landfills, it can also improve the quality of your soil. If you are thinking of starting a composting system, it is a good idea to know some basic facts about the process.
A compost pile should be at least 2 feet tall. It should also be covered to keep moisture in. This will help it decompose more quickly. You can use a rake or pitch fork to aerate the pile.
You can also recycle a wooden wheelbarrow into a compost bin. This is an inexpensive option. Just remember to leave enough room for removable planks.
A compost pile should contain two main ingredients, brown material and green material. Browns include grass clippings, straw and dead leaves. You can add food scraps to the compost pile. However, meat bones and colored inks are best kept out of the compost.
The best time to start composting is in the fall. The cold weather will slow the process down. It may take up to a year to get a finished pile.
A 3-sided compost bin is a good idea if you can find one that is already assembled. You can purchase these at your local gardening center or on the Internet. The bin is usually enclosed on two sides, which will keep out pests.