It may still be cold and gray outside, but before you know it, those first shoots of spring grass will be poking their green heads out of the soil and once again, lawn maintenance season will be upon us. If you want to have the best-looking, healthiest lawn ever, you need to start planning now. Sure, it may still be too cold to do any feeding, mowing or watering, but there’s still plenty you can do right now to give your lawn a head start before the hot days of summer. Here’s a quick rundown of must-do tasks:
First, make a quick list of the problems you faced last year.
- Did you have any areas of standing water?
- Any spots where grass just refused to stay green?
- Problems with fungus, disease, insects or other pests?
- Were you overwhelmed by lawn-care tasks like mowing or watering?
- Did you have shady areas where grass wouldn’t grow or sunny areas that kept turning brown?
- If you have an irrigation system, were there components that needed frequent repair and that might benefit from being replaced this year?
- Did you expand your garden area or make other changes that might require an expansion of your current system?
- If you don’t have an irrigation system, did you have problems keeping up with watering your lawn and garden?
- Did you notice fungus or disease problems associated with over-watering or under-watering?
Now think about the plans you have for this year:
- Will you be adding any new garden areas?
- Do you plan to add any hardscaping features?
- What about water features or a fireplace or fire pit?
- Do you plan to plant new trees or shrubs?
Having all that information in hand will help you determine things like whether or not you might want to consider adding an irrigation system or hire out tasks like mowing and feeding. You can also decide if it’s time to try a different type of grass, maybe a type that’s better suited to varying light conditions in your lawn. And you’ll also be able to decide if you need to improve drainage in any areas. Plus, knowing your needs ahead of time means you can schedule upcoming projects, like adding or expanding an irrigation or drainage system now, and you can also get plenty of bids for hardscaping or other big landscaping projects.
One more quick tip: If you decide to take a tour of your property when making your list of upcoming projects and tasks, take care when walking on wet soil. Wet soil is easily compacted, which can cause problems with grass growth once the season begins. If your soil isn’t already compacted, consider wearing aerating shoes to prevent compaction and help aerate the soil as you walk around.