As summer draws to a close (summer officially ends on September 22) it is important to prepare your yard for the next growing season. Maybe your yard didn’t do so well this last year and you are promising yourself that you will do better next year, in this article we will teach you how to prepare your yard for its best year ever!
Having the lush, green lawn you aspire to have isn’t a matter of having a green thumb: it’s all in the prep work!
Towards the end of the winter months, people’s lawn grass is likely to look brown and spotty. But by following the steps mentioned below, you could have the most beautiful-looking lawn in your residential area. Additionally, you could also consider adding unique ornamental features, such as water features, paving, and shrubs, to spruce up your lawn even more. To do so, you could consider contacting a landscaper wherever you are located.
That said, here are the 4 things you can do to get your lawn spring-ready to ensure maximum green!
Aerating Your Soil
While we don’t get the snow, the cold that we do get in the Houston winter months does compact the soil of your lawn, making it harder for your grass to take in moisture and breathe (yes, grass needs air!).
A grass aerator is a spiky tool that will poke holes in your lawn down to the roots of your grass, which will help to deposit water into the lawn to eventually be reabsorbed.
This gives your grassroots a chance to breathe and absorb water to stay healthier during the mostly dormant months, helping it to revive in the spring and have fewer brown dead spots to deal with later on.
Keep Old Winter Grass Low
Make sure to mow the grass you have during the winter as low as possible and keep it that way (because given our climate your grass will continue to grow a little bit over time during the fall and even winter months). If you have a larger yard, consider hiring a landscaping firm to mow the grass. These companies tend to have advanced mowers (like these Bobcat lawn mowers) that can help them quickly complete the mowing project. That way, you won’t have to worry about taking time out of your busy schedule for yard work.
That said, the warmer grasses common to Houston become brittle during the colder times of the year, with the tips of fully mature grass turning to a lighter brown, which can be an eyesore.
When you do mow your wintertime grass low ( an inch is a good length) disconnect your clippings bag and leave them on the lawn to be reabsorbed which will act as a natural fertilizer.
Fertilizer and Weed Prevention
When temperatures start to reach around 70 degrees, you will know that is your cue to begin fertilizing and take anti-weed efforts to help your lawn look perfect when things warm up further during spring.
Note: It is very important to wait until it is warmer to apply fertilizer (we recommend 1 pound of slow-release nitrogen fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of yard), as doing so during colder temperatures can actually damage your grass.
To target weeds that seem to be growing on your lawn, you should spray herbicides at the time they are germinating. These undesirable plants usually start to sprout in the spring and mature during the winter. But, since prevention is the best weed control, applying anti-weed herbicide during the January and February months will go a long way in avoiding a battle with them midsummer.
There are different ways to remove these ‘pest’ plants. Chemical options might be the most effective as they will kill most grasses or weeds with one application only. But people are weary of using them because they can damage the other plants too. An example would be Round-up which uses Glyphosate, which kills most of the vegetation that it comes in contact with.
But, an alternative to roundup would be natural herbicides. Here are some of the safer options:
- Vinegar weed killer
- Borax-based weed killer
- Pulling the weeds by hand, especially when it rains or after irrigation, etc.
Whatever your choice of eliminating weeds, as mentioned above make sure you do it as soon as you see some of them sprouting. This would ensure your lawn looks luscious, green, and weed-free.
The presence of wildlife in the garden may also need to be considered in addition to removing pests. Generally, these creatures eat the roots and leaves of plants, so it seems necessary to remove them to keep the plants healthy and flourishing. In that case, you can consider hiring a professional to handle raccoon, mouse, mold, and Squirrel Removal.
Reseed, Treat Spotty Areas
As spring time rolls around you will begin to see areas that need a little TLC.
Treat brown spots with a little extra love, reseed areas of your lawn that may have died out completely, and treat tough weed-infested areas with high-quality herbicide as needed.
Having a green thumb isn’t what it takes to have an amazing springtime yard that continues to be a pleasing sight for months afterward; proper prep is!
You deserve a beautiful lawn. You’ve got this!
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