12 April 2023
If you prefer a hands-off approach, take your mower to the shop, though you will want to do it in late fall or winter to avoid spring crowds. Note, too, that a cold mower can be hard to start in early spring. Warm it up by placing it in the sun for an hour or two prior to starting. Kick it up a notch by placing a dark trash bag over the engine while it’s soaking up some rays. (Don’t forget to remove the bag before you start the mower!)
Walk around and pick up twigs, branches, and any trash that winter (or the kids) tossed onto your lawn. Then, rake out dead grass and throw it onto your compost pile—along with any other green scraps—unless it contains weeds.
Look for bald spots. (In your lawn, pal.) Cover them with a grass toupée — A.K.A. Scotts® Bare Spot Repair products. Water newly seeded areas every day for at least a week, or until the grass reaches mow-able height. (Mow around the bare patches until then.) Once the new grass is 2 inches high, mow over them. Do the rest of your lawn while you’re at it.
If crabgrass has crawled across your northern lawn, multi-task by spreading Scotts® Turf Builder® Halts Crabgrass Preventer with Lawn Food* in early spring. Follow label directions, and only use this product if no spring seeding projects are planned.
If your southern lawn has weeds, send them on a permanent spring break with Scotts® Turf Builder® Bonus® S Southern Weed & Feed. It kills dollarweed and clover, plus many other weeds commonly found in the South. If you also have issues with fire ants, though, apply Scotts® Turf Builder® Southern Triple Action instead. In addition to feeding your lawn and killing stubborn weeds, it prevents and kills fire ants for up to 6 months. With both products, be sure to read and follow the directions on the label.
No crabgrass? Lucky you. Use Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Food instead, around the time of the first mowing. This helps Northern lawns have enough nourishment to plant roots for strong growth. No weeds in your warm-season grass? Treat it to a bag of Scotts® Turf Builder® Southern Lawn Food to help protect your lawn against heat and drought. With all lawn fertilizers, follow label directions carefully for best results, and don't apply additional fertilizer if you've recently applied a weed-and-feed product like one of those mentioned above.
Adjust the mower deck to cut grass at the highest possible setting for your lawn’s type of grass. Tall grass sinks deeper roots (which can seek out moisture) and crowds out weeds. Most turf types thrive with a 3- to 4-inch blade height, which usually corresponds to a mower’s highest setting. There are a few exceptions: Bermuda grass and creeping bentgrass like to keep a low profile, while Zoysia grass and Centipede grass enjoy a happy medium. No matter what, never remove more than one-third of the total grass blade length at a time.
The soft soil in early spring makes edging beds a cinch. Use a half-moon edger or a sharp garden spade to cut a 2- to 3-inch deep, V-shaped trench along your beds. This’ll show your lawn where it stops and your garden and landscape areas begin. Boundaries are important. Recut it as needed throughout the growing season, using a string trimmer. Toss any weed-free material you might dig out onto planting beds as mulch or add it to your compost pile.
Once the soil has warmed, refresh your mulch. Shredded mulch provides a polished finish to planting beds, but it also helps prevent weed growth by blocking access to the sun. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer around your plants. Don’t put mulch on top of your plants.
For help, contact Monnick Supply.
135 Maple Street,
Call (508) 318-4788
Mon-Sat 7:00am to 5:00pm
759 Waverly Street,
Call (508) 386-9876
Mon-Sat 7:00am to 5:00pm