1. Remove debris
We are starting a new lawn year and in order for a lawn to flourish, materials left in the lawn over winter should be removed. The removal of snow piles, lawn clippings, and old tree limbs will lessen the dispersal potential of fungal spores, bacteria, and weed seeds which survive the winter in the old materials.
2. Massage the Lawn
We don’t literally mean “massage”, that would be absurd! Massage in this case refers to raking. During winter, our cool-season grasses turn brown and enter a period of no growth known as dormancy. Raking removes dead grass from the lawn, which may harbor disease, and also decreases the compaction of upper soil layers. Compaction reduction provides greater air, water, and nutrient movement within the soil.
3. Weed Removal
Weed seeds are similar to The Goonies and “Never Say Die.” During winter, weed seeds undergo seasonal dormancy but, rebound when growing conditions become suitable in spring. Many homeowners begin weed treatments when dandelions and crabgrass start appearing in their lawn, but we don’t recommend waiting till then. An early season preemergent application provides control of early growing weeds and lessens weed pressure moving into the summer.
4. Feeding & Growth
After clearing the lawn of debris and applying a preemergent, the lawn needs to be fed. A light fertilizer application will promote proper lawn growth. However, these early season fertilizer applications should not be heavy. Healthy roots are integral to having a vibrant lawn, but heavy fertilizer applications promote grass shoot growth instead of root stimulation. Therefore, fertilizer applications should be performed at intervals instead of a single heavy application.