Updated: Oct 6, 2019
We all love the spring and the gifts of sunlight and rain that make our gardens grow. Read on to see some pro tips for giving your lawn a head start this spring.
It's finally starting to warm up and soon we'll be barbecuing again! There are a plethora of options available to those of us that simply cannot wait to play in our lawns and gardens. It's been a long winter, folks!
We've complied a list of simple steps to achieving your #backyard_dreams this spring and all year long.
Let's get into it.
Step 1: Know your soil and your grass.
We need to know if it's a cool or a warm weather grass, because that determines when root growth occurs. According to research, warm-weather grass typically doesn't work to extend it's root structure until it warms up, so in the cooler beginning of spring it will be focused on shoot growth.
Cool-weather grass like the type we use, tall fescue, on the other hand, is prepared to extend it's roots into the soil during the beginning of the growth season. Any efforts made to improve the growth of the turf should be focused on the roots during cooler temperatures.
Soil in the southern part of Virginia is notoriously clay-like so if you are starting with an un-worked lawn, you might have to replace some of your clay with good soil and gypsum. You will also need to know the ph level of your soil, and be prepared to adjust it accordingly with fertilizer. In the spring, it is easy to burn new roots with nitrogen, so be sure to know your ph and buy the right fertilizer.
You can hire a professional to test your soil, or you can purchase a home-test kit. Organic fertilizer is another safe bet, for Virginia's waterways and your garden, and promotes various natural processes that help your soil stay healthy for years to come. There are also extended-release nitrogen formulas, making for a much safer exposure to the chemical for the root structure. We like to use fertilizer treated seed in the spring to help growth without needing to add extra chemicals.
Step 2: Re-seeding can be done bi-annually
Even established lawns could use a little something extra in the beginning of a grow season, and adding a little extra baby grass in there only helps make your lawn that much more lush.
LawnCraft works mostly out of Virginia Beach, and the best type of seed for this area, according to Virginia.gov, is an all-season tall fescue. This is the seed that we use, and it is a beautiful and hardy green that maintains color all year. This grass requires a ph of around 6.2, an inch of weekly watering and plenty of sunshine.
To re-seed, you'll want to aerate your ground before you broadcast the seed across your prepared soil. You soil should be between 6" and 8" for optimum root expansion.
Step 3: Aeration is key to healthy root growth.
The bi-annual turf maintenance is the difference between a lackluster, crispy lawn in the hot summer days and a vibrant lawn that is just begging you to get your toes into.
Aeration is the process of injecting oxygen into the soil, and can be done several ways. Less expensive options include poking holes into the lawn with a rake-like device. Click here to read more about aeration.
The professionals here at LawnCraft use specialized aeration machines that remove plugs of soil from the turf, instead of simply poking holes into the dirt. This way, the roots are not compacted during the process, but split throughout like one would with a potted plant.
This produces amazing growth after several weeks, because the roots are provided direct contact with the soil, nutrients, and water that they need to thrive.
The results of an effective aeration can be seen through the year and it's seasons. A healthy lawn in the spring will help protect against the summer heat, as well as the winter cold. For best results, I recommend a lawn treatment in the fall and in the spring.
Now that you've learned some ways to optimize your lawn goals this year, let me know what you think! Please leave a comment with your additions or arguments, and let us know if we can help you with any of your lawncare needs.