Spring Lawn Care What Not To Do

If you’re like most Canadians, you’ve thought this winter stretched on far too long. As soon as patches of green grass start to peak through the snow on your lawn, the only thing you want to do is get outside. The temperatures start to climb, heavy winter coats change to sweaters and winter boots are traded for rubber as you begin to check out the damage Old Man Winter has done to your yard. As you prepare to have the best looking yard on your block, here are a few things you should avoid:

1. Walking on Your Soggy Lawn

If the snow has finally melted, it can be tempting to wander out onto your grass and enjoy the fresh air and warming temperatures. If you notice the water squishing under your shoes, you’ve probably not waiting long enough for the soil to dry out. If the ground is too wet, walking on it can compact the soil, making it more difficult for water to penetrate and could cause your grass to grow in patchy, leaving room for those pesky weeds. If it’s too late for this warning, check your yard after it has dried out a bit. If the soil is too compact, you may have to aerate.

2. Waiting to Install Irrigation

Spring is one of the best times to install irrigation. The ground is still soft and though sprinkler installation causes minimal damage, the grass will fill in more quickly if the irrigation system has been installed before the grass’ dormancy period is over, which in Ontario, is typically the beginning of May. If you wait until summer to install an in-ground sprinkler system, it can take longer for the grass to grow in, or worse, your yard can dry out before the irrigation can take full effect.

3. Expecting your lawn to de-thatch itself

Thatch appears on your yard when grass doesn’t have a chance to biodegrade before additional plant matter piles on top of it. While some thatch can protect your lawn from an especially harsh winter, too much can essentially suffocate your lawn, not allowing for irrigation and oxygen to penetrate to the roots. Gently raking your lawn can break up the thatch, allowing your lawn to breathe and grow green and healthy.

4. Fertilizing before your grass has started to grow

Because we all want to have a beautiful, lush lawn, the tendency can be to get out and fertilize as soon as the snow has melted. However, fertilizer won’t actually accomplish anything if your grass is still in its dormancy period. Since grass (or sod) takes quite a bit of water to grow well, it’s a good idea to wait until your inground sprinklers are installed since they will water your entire property all at once for optimum effectiveness. Gone are the days where you have to go out and move the sprinkler every couple of hours.