Spring Lawn Care
Spring and Autumn is the easiest time to plant a new lawn. The ground is wet and the temperatures are lower than the summer. But whether you are planting a new Spring lawn or just renovating your existing lawn, there are jobs that need to be done in the Spring.
The heat of the summer is not quite here.
Planting a New Spring Lawn:
If you intend planting a new Spring lawn, there is little point in doing any planting before the Gota Fria. Basically any seed you sow will be washed away if it rains and any plugs you plant will be drowned or covered in mud. So if it hasn't rained yet, use the time usefully. Prepare your soil (test its pH, add organic material if needed), rake, roll, and level. Ground preparation is the key to the success of a new Spring lawn. Sow the grass seed or plant the grass plugs in accordance with the suppliers advice. Keep the grass seed damp until it germinates and if the soil is dry water the plugs every day for 3 - 4 weeks.
Caring for an Existing Lawn:
If you already have a lawn, the question is "On a scale of 1 to 10, how green is it? Depending on the answer (10 being green all over, 5 is 50% grass and 50% brown patches)
Ten out of ten mean all that is necessary is keep mowing it and prepare it for winter by applying Spring fertilizer, "Pre-emergent" weed killer, and/or Broad leaf weed killer (when the weather is warm and dry).
5 out of ten or less, and if you have English type grass means you should re-seed the bald patches with more seed (English grass will not fill the gaps, because it is generally bunch type grass). If you have warm season grass, the best solution for brown patches is to re-plug with more grass plugs.
Note: Do not apply pre emergent weed killer if you are sowing new grass seed as this will kill it. Wait until the grass has germinated, or sow the grass seed 3 - 4 weeks after applying the pre-emergent weed killer.
If its an English type (cool season grass) it will continue to grow, and need mowing throughout the winter. If its a warm season grass, it should not need cutting, and if the weather turns really cold it may hibernate and go a brownish colour.
Whatever the type of grass you have, you can guarantee that after the heavy rains and when the soil is moist you will very quickly have an abundance of unwanted weeds. Crabgrass and Oxalis will germinate at this time of year, so you will need to apply a "Pre-emergence" weed killer a week to 10 days after the heavy rain has stopped. This will kill the weed seeds as they germinate. If you have any broad leaved weeds you can also apply a broad leaved weed killer.
English grass will need feeding in the Spring, but be careful not to overfeed with high Nitrogen fertilizer, as if we have a cold spell it will make the grass more susceptible to damage. Warm season grasses should only be fertilized at the beginning of Spring and then nothing until they green up in summer.
Because English grass will be starting to grow and get stronger in the Spring, if you have a build up of debris or lawn cuttings, it is the best time of the year to rake the lawn (using a wire lawn rake). Do not rake a warm season lawn - this should be done at the beginning of the growing season in Spring.