April is a month of firsts for many
lawns – first spring flowers popping up in and around the lawn, first
fertilization, and the first mowing. That makes it a good time to review some
important lawn care tips, courtesy of the National Association of Landscape
Professionals, who remind us that April is National Lawn Care Month.
Watch the Water
If you have to water your lawn this
year, make water count. It’s a valuable resource. Water in the early morning or
later in the evening to let the moisture soak into the soil, avoiding
evaporation. Consider using irrigation systems that minimize water usage. Deep
watering every few days, rather than everyday watering, best nurtures turfgrass
Apply the Right Rates, Types of
Know what your soil needs; conduct a
soil test to see if any nutrients are lacking in your lawn. Then apply
slow-release fertilizers that feed appropriate amounts of nutrients over time
to the grass. Some homeowners even spread a thin layer of finished compost onto
the lawn in the spring for an organic nutrient boost. Remember to keep nutrient
sources away from storm drains and other places where water flows freely.
A Perfect Lawn May Not Look It
A lush, deep green lawn through the
whole season may not be best. The National Landscape Professional Association
urges its members and homeowners to “Embrace the Brown” during periods of lower
rainfall and higher heat in summer. Most turfgrasses will enter a natural
dormancy stage, where the grass crown “shuts off” sending up new blades and
older blades brown.
Many turfgrasses, especially
cool-season grasses, will shoot up green blades with rain and cooler
temperatures. Irrigating can keep the grass from going into dormancy – but not
irrigating during a couple brown weeks can save water, and the grass probably
won’t miss a beat.
Fall Seeding is Best
Spring seeding may be unavoidable,
such as repairing large areas of damage from a winter construction project. But
if winter damage is not widespread, wait until later to seed. The turf may
bounce back. Another benefit: less aggressive weed growth in the fall, when
crabgrass is at the end of its lifecycle.
Labels: April Lawn care, best time to fertilize your lawn, National Lawn Care Month, Saving water, watering your lawn