Tag Archives: spring

4 Simple Spring Lawn (and Yard) Care Tips

Spring outdoor chores aren’t hard, but they do set the stage for getting your grass ready for the growing season. Plus after a cold winter getting outside provides a healthy dose of fresh air, sunshine, and exercise

  1. Tune up your lawn mower and weed wacker. 
    • Change the oil, air filter and spark plugs. 
    • Hopefully you cleaned them in the fall but if not try to remove any dirt and grass clippings-just be sure to detach the spark plug wire before working around the cutting blade. 
    • Sharpen the mower blade, or replace it if it has large nicks or gouges. Think about keeping an extra blade on hand this year. Check the string on your weed wacker and add more if gone. 
    • Fill the gas tank on the mower and if your weed wacker uses mixed gas and oil put together a fresh batch. 
  1. Clean up the yard. 
    • Walk around paying extra attention to fence or tree lines and gather any tree limbs or other debris that show up. 
    • Go the extra mile and give the yard a quick rake. Getting some of the dead grass, thatch, and blown leaves out of there. 
  1. Feed the lawn and tackle the weeds
    • Take the time to hand pull up weeds now, so the surrounding grass can get its best shot at growing tall and strong
    • Apply pre-emergent weed control. This stops weed seeds from germinating (like crabgrass) and will save your lawn down the road. Best to get this down before the soil temperatures reach 55 degrees well after the air temps do. Follow that up a month later with post-emergent weed control which knocks down weeds that might have made it through and sprouted up.
    • Apply a fertilizer. You should test your soil to know exactly how much but typically a spring fertilizer will be high in Nitrogen and Potassium. The bag or bottle might be something like 10-0-4 as an example. 
    • If you have any bare spots that need seed be sure to not apply weed control to that area or think about applying seed later in the season if it can wait. 
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  1. Edge the beds and apply fresh mulch. 
    • The spring soft soil makes edging the grass by sidewalks and driveways much easier.  Try to keep those looking fresh with a quick trimmer pass of the weed wacker each week. 
    • The winter can dull a mulch bed. Everything looks better with a quick topping off of new mulch. Think about applying a pre-emergent weed control to flower bed or shrub areas to help knock down the weeding later in the season.

Extras: 

  • Check the irrigation systems for any problems and prep for the season. 
  • Clean, sharpen, and oil your pruning shears so they are ready when the time comes
  • Trim the trees and shrubs. Be careful of limbs that will produce flowers though. 
  • Power washing the deck sure would look nice! 
  • Check the lawn for fungus and mold growth. Some details HERE
Lawn Fertilizer

Spring Lawn care checklist

It is that time of year again when the daylight last a little longer, temperatures are getting warmer, and winter is in the rear view mirror.  Spring has officially arrived and it is time to venture outside and get the lawn looking great. However, as eager as you may be to begin improving the look of your lawn, patience is an important part of the process. See our top 5 checklist of time tested spring lawn care tips.    

Get your soil tested

Just like our bodies need various vitamins and minerals to be healthy and strong, so does your lawn. But not just any nutrients will do. Having your soil tested annually (as is provided with every Lawn Serv account) will tell you what specific nutrients are needed to achieve optimal results and obtain a healthy and lush lawn.  

Debris Cleanup & Mowing

No doubt your lawn has experienced the effects of winter with twigs, sticks, leaves, ect. littering the yard along with dead grass.  Definitely pick up the major debris as time allows, but hold off on any vigorous raking or mowing until the grass is mostly green and the ground is fairly dry, otherwise you risk doing more damage than good to your lawn. Raking or detaching can tear up roots if the soil is to damp for roots to hold.  When appropriate give the entire lawn a coarse raking to pull off any dead grass and debris. dethatching is also an option at this time of year, but is a more involved process and will be covered in a separate article. One trick you can use to save some time is to give you lawn a “short cut”. Setting the mower blades a little lower will help pull up some of the dead grass, without the added step of raking. Don’t go to low however, or you’ll risk damaging the crowns of the grass.  Having a shorter first cut before applying any products will also help facilitate getting the fertilizer down to the roots where it’s needed and getting the pre-emergent to the seeds.

Pre-Emergent

If your lawn is prone to weeds, early spring can be a good time to apply herbicides to prevent the weeds from developing. Crabgrass is the most common as it is a prolific seeder and the bane of many homeowners seeking a better lawn. If you had a crabgrass issue last year (or even multiple years back) expect to see it again this year, so consider using a pre-emergent herbicide. It may be tempting to use the more is better method for controlling weeds, but avoid this mentality or you may damage the young grass that is starting to grow.  For ideal results you will want to apply the weed control as soon as the soil temperature consistently reaches 55 degrees.

Fertilize

A green lawn is great, but keep in mind the goal of your spring lawn care is to encourage maximum root volume and depth to prepare the grass for summer heat and drought. During springtime green will happen on its own.  Similar to weed control, don’t overdue the fertilizer in the spring. Too much will cause a flush of growth at the expense of the roots. Lawn Serv customers, no need to worry about how much is too much, you will receive just the right amount of fertilizer for your lawn size and time of year.

Reseed

Overseeding in the spring is not ideal, as it will be tough for the young grass to develop enough strength to survive the tough summer months.  However, you’ll want to fix any bald spots so try to get the seeding done early so the new grass will have enough time to develop before the summer stress. Watering will be key to helping young grass survive the entire season.  Grass seed will start to germinate when soil temperatures reach 50°F, so as soon as your seeing soil temperatures in this range, get the seed down. For the same reason pre-emergents work on crabgrass and other weed seeds, they also work on grass seed, so be careful not to use pre-emergents over new grass seed.

A  little extra effort in the spring will pay big dividends all year long, and help make the entire lawn care season much more manageable.  By following the above steps you’ll be on your way to a thicker, fuller, more healthy lawn that will be the envy of all your neighbors. Now if I could just get the same results with my hair.  

Spring Lawn Care Tips

The Benefits of Soil Testing, Why & How!

Quick Pro Tip:

  • Soil can be tested at any time of the year, but for optimal results get your soil tested in fall or early spring this gives you ample time to make adjustments before you start planting.
  • Use a soil composition (soil from around your yard combined) as most amendments are going to be deployed broadly around the yard and there are not likely huge swings in nutrient levels to warrant super specific small tailoring of amendments.  
  • Test every couple years to see how the amendments you have made are affecting the soil.
What is NPK

Why:

Testing your soil is incredibly beneficial to the everyday home-owner with a lawn. Testing your soil allows you to understand the fertility of the lawn and its specific nutrient levels and what it needs in order to prosper.  You can then tailor your applications to target the specific needs of your lawn. This should save you time and money while being more effective and better for the environment.

How to test your soil:

Hands down the best way to test your soil is through either an extension school/university or through a private lab.  The prices can range from $15 if you drop it off to $100 if you ship it in. The biggest problem is knowing what to do with the results.  They will provide you with a lot of language such as 3 lbs of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft. If that doesn’t make a lot of sense to you it might make sense to use Lawn Serv.

Things you will test for:

There are many different types of nutrients or lack thereof in a yard, and they can differ city to city or state to state based on a lot of different factors.  Some of the main lawn related items you should see in a soil test result are:

  • pH level
  • Organic Matter
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium

You will see recommendations regarding nitrogen levels based on these factors and where you are located in the country also.

How to with Lawn Serv:

With Lawn Serv it is as simple as clicking a button.

Start by Clicking Get Started and we will go through the rest with you online!

Cheers!

The Lawn Serv Team

Best Practices for Lawn Care

Weed Control Pre vs Post Emergence

Quick Pro-Tips:

  • Pre-Emergent Herbicides are used in the early Spring Season to prevent weed seeds from germinating
  • Post-Emergent Herbicide is used once the Spring Season has begun to target established weeds
  • Application timing is important in the success of weed control
  • More mature weeds will need more attention – Like manual pulling
how to control weeds in lawn

Overview:

Nobody likes weeds.  They are hard on the eyes and usually end up killing the lawn by sucking up all the nutrients from the surrounding grass and eventually dying themselves making the lawn patchy and bumpy.  In order to prevent weeds from growing there are two types of product commonly used called Pre-Emergent and Post-Emergent Herbicides. It is ideal to understand the difference between the two to get the best results for your effort.  

Note: There is NO SUCH THING AS ORGANIC weed control!

Pre-Emergent Herbicides:

These products are typically meant to be applied in the early Spring season. The “Pre” in Pre-emergent is its focus on stopping weed seeds (or any seeds, grass included) from germinating. Typically that means from February to May depending on where you live or when the soil temps are getting up to 55 degrees. Based on where you are in the country and particular years climate this can change slightly.

Check your soil temps HERE

Post-Emergent Herbicides:

Post Emergent products are meant to address established weeds such as dandelions, thistle, bindweed, nutsedge and many more to kill them. The products can be applied with spot treatment for small problems, with a hose end sprayer for great leaf coverage, and as a granular product for a slower release and control. Be careful as application rates should be limited throughout the year. You can’t always get them all at once! Hence the manual process below…

Manual Weed Pulling:

Because you should really limit your weed control applications in a given year, as to not stress the good grass you want to keep. The best thing a homeowner can do is hand pull weeds or use a de-weeding tool to help in that process. You can get a mixture of seed and soil to back-fill any holes you create in the process to make sure no weeds just fill that spot again.

Lastly: No matter how much you treat your lawn, weed control is about consistency and perseverance.  Because weed seeds can travel several different ways from distance sometimes very far away you can never truly stop weed prevention and intervention. Keeping a healthy full lawn fed to crowd out weeds is the best practice.