A Spring Lawn Care Refresher

Good day, fellow green thumbs!

It’s Bob Wasson here, ready to take you on a stroll into the relaxing world of lawn care. Whether you are new to the lawn game or just looking for a quick refresher, we’ve got you covered with some quick go-to tips for caring for your lawn this spring! Let’s dive into some grassy goodness, shall we?

Start Mowing Regularly: You’ve probably already begun your mowing journey for this season as the warmer start to the spring season has warmed the soil and jump started the growing season. Aim to cut grass to a height of about 3-4 inches, only removing the top third of the grass blades at any mowing to avoid stress. Sharpening your blades each spring is important as well and will keep your lawn looking even better as dull blades will fray the top of the grass which looks bad and could lead to disease problems.

Fertilize for Spring Growth: Early spring is a crucial time for fertilizing to support vigorous growth and root development. Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to provide consistent nutrients over the weeks. If not already done, start with a “Step 1” bag of fertilizer.
Pro Tip: "Step 1" fertilizers usually contain a weed suppressant that prevents overwintering weed seeds from germinating. This is a must! Make sure your bag of fertilizer contains a pre-emergent herbicide!

Address Weeds Early: Apply pre-emergent herbicides in late March through early May, as these prevent weed seeds from germinating. For weed that have already sprouted, use a post-emergent herbicide or hand-pull to manage them before they can set seed. Fertilizer bags with wording such as “Step 2” or “Weed & Feed” will probably have broadleaf weed control built into the fertilizer mixture. You can also spray your lawn weeds with a broadleaf weed control.

Overseed Thin Areas: If your lawn is thin or patchy, overseed with an appropriate grass seed blend for your existing turf. The mild weather and increased rain we usually see in April and May make this a good time to establish new growth. Remember, you need about a 1/4" of loose, fluffy soil or the grass to grow. So in your thin areas try to loosen the soil, or better yet spread a thin layer of compost / soil mix. Water the newly seeded areas lightly but consistently to encourage germination. Don’t water to the point of creating standing water, and don’t allow the new seedlings to dry up! Cover with straw for best results. I know it's unsightly, but you'll be glad you did when you see that thin area disappear!
Pro Tip: If you’ve just used pre-emergent herbicide to prevent crabgrass and other weeds, you should wait about 6 weeks before trying to sow grass seed! That pre-emergent chemical forms a barrier on your soil that stops all seeds from sprouting, not just crabgrass!

Not sure what type of grass seed to buy? Here is a little more info on seeds:

  • Kentucky Bluegrass has been long admired for its lush color and texture. It requires full sun and regular maintenance to thrive. Known for self-repair through rhizomes (underground shoots), it's ideal for high-traffic areas but takes time to establish. Often you’ll find bluegrass seed as the predominant ingredient in various seed mixes, along with Ryegrass and Fescue.
    • Perennial Ryegrass germinates quickly, making it great for rapid lawn repairs. It grows fast in full sun and well-drained soil, but may require frequent overseeding due to thinning over time.
    • Creeping Fescue excels in shaded areas and requires less maintenance. It is drought-tolerant with a deep root system, making it suitable for lower foot traffic areas.
  • Turf Type Tall Fescue has emerged over the last decade as the optimal choice for its ruggedness and low upkeep. With broad, coarse leaves, it forms a deep-rooted, dense lawn that withstands heat, drought, and shade. It establishes quickly, remains vibrant through the fall, and is adaptable to various soil conditions. Its resilience to drought and disease makes it ideal for active family yards, earning our highest recommendation for most lawn needs. Pro Tip: If Wasson Nursery is doing a landscaping project for you, our team prefers this type of grass seed!

Aeration: If your lawn is subject to high traffic and the soil is compacted, aeration can be done in the spring. This process allows oxygen, water, and nutrients to penetrate the soil more effectively, promoting healthier roots. Always overseed when you aerate. As the plugs break down it provides the perfect bed of loose soil for new seedlings to germinate. Pro Tip: If you can wait, aeration and overseeding that is done in the fall is often easier and produces better results.

Water Efficiently: As the weather warms and the spring rains begin to ease don’t forget to water. The best watering philosophy is to water deeply and less frequently to encourage deep root growth. Generally, aim for about an inch of water per week, including rainfall, but adjust based on temperature and rainfall in your specific area.

Wrapping things up
By taking some time to care of your lawn in April and May you are setting the stage for a healthy, robust lawn throughout the summer. Remember, the thicker and fuller your lawn becomes, the better it handles stress from summer heat and lessens opportunities for weeds to grow. Basically, with a little work, you create less work for yourself over the long haul!

At Wasson Nursery, we’re here to help you with all your lawn care needs—from selecting fertilizer and grass seeds, to identifying and treating your lawn problems. And if this whole DIY thing isn’t your thing, our Lawn Care team is ready to do it for you! We can help care for your lawn with our six step fertilization and weed control service as well as aeration, seeding projects, insect and disease control, or even complete lawn renovations! Stop by our stores or check out our Lawn Care page for more information.

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