When the weather starts to turn in the spring, most of us get the itch to get outside. We look forward to breaking free from the confines of our homes after a long winter. We wait patiently, longing for our lawn to green up.
Does this sound familiar? If so, here are some tips to get your lawn to quickly green up after it’s been dormant through the winter.
- Prepare your lawn in the fall by applying a winterizer fertilizer.
- Get rid of snow mold if present by raking any infected grass patches. Raking loosens the matted areas, allowing the grass to dry out.
- Apply a thin layer of gypsum to areas close to sidewalks and driveways if you used deicing salt in the winter. The calcium in gypsum replaces the sodium (from the salt) that attaches to the soil. With the sodium in solution, you can leach it out of the root zone.
- Minimize foot traffic across the lawn to prevent damage to the crowns. They are fragile as they come out of dormancy and can easily be broken.
- Apply a preemergent after the last freeze to thwart weed seed germination.
- Apply an early spring lawn fertilizer when the grass starts to grow and green up when the soil temperature rises above 55°F.
- Start mowing earlier than you usually would. Keep the blades at a high position at first and then gradually start dropping them to the mowing height recommended for your grass type. This will encourage the grass to start growing quicker.
- Start watering as soon as the grass is actively growing if you aren’t receiving regular rainfall. Water in the morning, making sure to soak the soil to an inch deep. Do this once or twice a week, so you aren’t overwatering.
- Aerate to alleviate soil compaction and improve water and nutrient movement through the soil.
- Apply an iron supplement to the lawn when air temperatures are between 60°F and 70°F. It won’t cause excessive growth like nitrogen but will help the grass green up as iron is needed (along with other nutrients) to create chlorophyll. Foliar application of liquid iron results in the quickest response because the iron is readily absorbed through the leaves. If applying a granular product, look for chelated iron to keep it from binding to the soil.
- Reseed any bare spots.