Before you know it, warm weather will be pushing out the cold, winter air, and you’ll be outside working in your yard.
While this time may be a little ways off, it’s still important to prepare now by understanding what not to do when taking care of your property in the spring. Adhering to these rules can help you save you both time and money, while also keeping the environment and your family safe.
Here are four lawn maintenance activities you should absolutely never complete in the spring:
This spring, you’re likely to notice landscapers and even lawn care “professionals” offering deals on aerating.
Cool season grasses grow best in cool, semi-wet weather – when days and nights are chilly, morning dew is present, annual weeds are dying and rain is prevalent but not overbearing. These environmental conditions usually take place early to mid-fall and sometimes in the late summer.
While aerating your lawn in the spring is considered a “no, no,” dethatching can actually damage your lawn more.
Often, we’ll see homeowners and professionals take a multipronged approach to reviving their struggling property. They’ll dethatch the same areas of grass several times, aerate them over and over again, and then disperse seed.
More often than not, these folks fail to grow a thick lawn, while more experienced lawn professionals sit and pray that the remaining, living grass survives the onslaught.
Why you shouldn’t detach in the spring:
Dethatching removes thatch from your lawn, which is matted down, dead material that sits at the base of blades. Thatch may consist of everything from dead grass, leaves and other substances.
Furthermore, a lawn that is dethatched in the spring is trying to compete with aggressive winter and spring annuals weeds, and crabgrass.
However, if the process is completed in the fall, lawns have the proper amount of resources and time to recover. Autumn’s nights and days are cool, morning dew is present, and yards don’t have to worry about competing with intrusive weeds because the latter is dying out.
Finally, dethatching only needs to be done every once in a while. Under most circumstances, you won’t need to dethatch every year because your yard simply won’t produce enough thatch to warrant the procedure.
Not every homeowner has heard about aerating and dethatching, but everyone knows what it means to seed a cool-season lawn. The problem is, not many people (and professionals) realize (or care) that the spring is the second worst time of year to seed . The first is summer, if we don’t count the winter.
When a person seeds in the spring, seedlings are less likely to grow because:
- Noxious, annual and perennials weeds grow much quicker than cool-season grasses, and they consume water and nutrients that otherwise would go to seedlings. These weeds also block needed sunlight that contributes to seedling photosynthesis, which helps plants process fertilizer.
- Spring diseases stress (and can kill) young, weak grass blades.
- Hot, dry weather curbs blade growth because water is less prevalent. Homeowners may also find it more difficult to water lawns because many towns impose watering restrictions.
- Crabgrass – a weedy grass that suffocates cool-season grasses – is more likely to grow freely. This happens because people can’t distribute crabgrass control right before and immediately after they disperse grass seed. The crabgrass control will actually obstruct seedlings from developing.
There is, as always, one exception to seeding in the spring, and it’s this: It’s generally OK tto fill in a couple of tiny bare patches with seed because small areas are much easier to maintain than an entire property. Just keep in mind that small areas are still subject to the same stressful conditions we previously noted. Because of this, we sugegst setting your expectations low and understanding that you may have to reseed in autumn.
4. Apply grub control
Many lawn care professionals and homeowners distribute imidacloprid – a grub prevention more commonly known as Merit – in either a granular or spray formation in mid-spring when honey bees are flying around and flowers are in full bloom. Many environmental groups discourage this practice, however, and encourage people to instead apply imidacloprid in mid to late summer. The same advice applies to those who use chlorantraniliprole to prevent grub activities, which is found in GrubEx. Using grub prevention too early in the year can negatively impact honey bees.
However, neonicotinyl can be highly toxic to honey bees, noted The University of Minnesota, when people apply it to lawns covered in blooming flowers.
According to the source, neonicotinyl insecticides can cause honey bees to become disoriented and reduce the amount of pollen they collect. As you’ve probably guessed, this can have dire effects on their population.
We service many towns in Norfolk County, Mass. including Foxborough, Mansfield, Sharon, Walpole, Norwood, Westwood, Norfolk, Medway, Millis, Medfield, Dover, Sherborn and surrounding towns. For more information contact us today.