Spring will be here before you know it, and nothing will make your neighbors more envious than seeing your green and weed free lawn. However, this cannot happen on its own. With preparation and routine maintenance your lawn will become the talk of the neighborhood. In a good way of course!
The majority of lawns in our area are warm season grasses including Bermuda and Zoysia turf types. If you are unsure of the type of grass you have, a good rule of thumb to follow would be to observe the color of your lawn. If it is brown in the winter and green in the summer, you likely have a warm season turf type. Since these grasses are the most common in our area, we will discuss how to prepare and maintain with the following tips.
1) Pre-emergent: To avoid the hassle of pulling weeds it is important to apply an effective pre-emergent at the correct time. Summer annual weeds will start to germinate in the late winter to spring. Make pre-emergent applications in February-March to create a barrier in the soil that will help prevent weeds before they come up in your lawn.
2) Core aerate: A common practice used on golf courses and many home lawns is core aeration. This process will pull plugs throughout your yard which will help reduce thatch and decompact your soil. The end result will be reinvigorated and more dense turf growth.
3) Fertilization: Once your lawn starts to green up a fertilization application can be made to help produce better color and growth. A slow-release fertilizer helps reduce the risk of over fertilizing and gives longer lasting results.
4) Regular maintenance: Last but certainly not least is to follow a weekly mowing and watering schedule. The height of your grass should be between 1-2 inches. Keep in mind removing more than ⅓ of the blade height can cause browning and damage your turf. Weekly mowing will keep your grass height within the desired range without mowing off too much of the blade height. Your lawn also needs 1 inch of water per week. If there is no rainfall irrigation can be ran 2-3 times a week to ensure you are getting adequate water.