Get ready for a beautiful lawn this summer

 A summer lawn that’s lush and lovely isn’t an impossible dream.  Like everything else, it just takes a little preparation and understanding.  The main keys to having a lawn that’s the envy of the neighborhood are air and nutrients.  Let’s look at both.

De-thatching.  As lawns begin to surge after the slow-growing winter months, it’s a perfect time to de-thatch to remove dead grass build-up.  You’d be surprised how much build-up can happen during the winter.  This covering causes impaction, which prevents air and sunlight from getting to the grass.

There’s a special de-thatching tool you can use for this chore.  It has sharp, solid, two-sided blades at the end of a long handle, and most are adjustable.  The ends of the tool tear up dead grass and layers of dead cut blades while leaving the healthy grass alone.  De-thatching is the first step in creating a beautiful lawn, but it may not be enough by itself.

Aeration.  When a lawn is very compacted and de-thatching won’t work, you need to aerate.  Typically, aeration is performed in the fall, but if your lawn is in bad enough shape, it won’t hurt to do the job in the spring and again in the fall.

Compaction is commonly caused by heavy traffic, which seals off the soil, making it hard for grass to “breathe.”  Go to a lawn care center, where you can rent an aerator and get tips on how to use it.  By de-thatching – and aeration, if necessary – your grass will be ready to be fed the nutrients it needs to grow strong and healthy.

Fertilizer.  Spring is a good time for a light fertilizer application.  If you prefer to go organic, manure is an excellent choice.  It does a good job in revitalizing lawns for the heavy summer growing season.  Cow manure is the most commonly used fertilizer.  Yes, there will be some smell around your house for a few days, but it’ll be worth it when you see how great your grass looks.

Scotts and other companies offer a variety of chemical fertilizers, which also produce quality results.  Whichever style of fertilizer you use, get advice on application from a nursery or lawn and garden shop ahead of time.  This is especially important if it’s the first time you’ve ever worked with fertilizer.

Water.  After you’ve taken the steps above, turn your attention to watering.  Like humans, grass needs adequate water to survive and thrive.  Several good waterings a week is usually sufficient.  If you have automatic sprinklers, set them to run in the middle of the night.  If you water with portable sprinklers, do so after the sun has gone down.  This will keep the heat from evaporating the water before it has a chance to sink down to the roots of the grass.

Follow these tips, and you’ll have a great-looking lawn all summer.

Nick & Ellie