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Once your lawns soil have begun to firm and warm up it is time to get cracking with things that will assure you have a terrific lawn this year!

Soil Oxygen is everything:

Remember that soil compression is the number one enemy to having a healthy lawn. 90% of all the homeowners that have problems with their lawn can trace those issues back to the soil.

Compaction discourages grass root growth and enables weeds to get a foothold. Avoid walking or driving equipment on soggy lawns, wait until you can walk on your turf without leaving indentations. Each spring, when the ground firms up, start with your mechanical yard work, raking and picking up winter debris. Core aeration or other methods of punching or drilling holes to allow oxygen to penetrate 2 to 3 inches down will allow grass roots to penetrate deeply. An earth auger coupled with a battery powered drill can easily drill 2 inch deep holes, every foot or so, in areas where you know you have hardpan soils.

Organic Matter, matters:

Applying a thin layer of good quality compost after core aerating can pay huge dividends. Leaving your grass clippings after every mowing recycles the carbon and nutrients right back to the turf grass and increases the organic content of the soil. Using fertilizers that contain organic carriers like Turf Line Products can make a huge long term difference in building soil organic content. Soils that are well aerated and contain 5% organic matter perform much better than those that do not. Oxygen and organic matter sustain the soil borne microbes that combat compaction and release vital nutrients. Anything you do that encourages their growth will assure you a much better quality lawn.

Repairing those bare spots:

Typically, bare spots will not fill in on their own.  Areas that are missing grass that are 12 inches or larger in diameter will need to be reseeded after properly raking and aerating. Select a quality grassed such as Van Putte’s own Countryside Mixture, that will fill in bare spots and prevent crabgrass and other weed seeds from germinating. Top dressing with a thin layer of compost, which will decompose, will help to protect newly sown grass seed from bird predation and maintain soil moisture. This also prevents the germination of many annual weed seeds.

Fertilizing works:

After all the cleanup, aeration, raking and reseeding is done, it’s time to start fertilizing. You can use an organic based product like our Van Putte’s 15 Plus. It contains a balanced analysis fertilizer plus Iron and Sulfur for truly exceptional results.

Stop by and one of our Green Thumb staff members will show you the correct products to get a jumpstart on your spring lawn that your neighbors will soon envy!

Written By Rick Stecher – Horticulturist

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