If you haven’t started on prepping your lawn for the season, the good news is that it is not too late. By following these five simple steps, you will be sure to have a lawn that looks great all summer.
Step #1: Stop Weeds Before They Happen
The best way to deal with weeds is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Using a pre-emergent herbicide will stop warm-season weeds before they even begin to spread in your lawn. You should also take care to remove weeds from your gardens so their traveling seeds do not end up in your lawn later. You can also help to prevent weeds from growing by filling in bare spots with sod and seed so weeds cannot sprout in those locations.
Step #2: Prep Your Lawnmower
Having a well-maintained lawnmower is key to providing regular lawn maintenance and creating a clean, attractive look. If you haven’t already, you should replace your mower’s oil and gas, spark plug and air filter. Adding a fuel stabilizer will also help to keep the gas from going stale and causing harm to your mower’s engine. To ensure your grass is cut correctly, check your blade and replace it if it has become dull. Mowing with a dull blade will create ragged cuts, which is not just unattractive, but can also make your grass more susceptible to disease. If you have a riding mower, ensure the tires are properly inflated to create an even cut and a more comfortable ride.
Step #3: Remove Thatch
Over time, a spongy layer of dead grass called thatch can become built up in your lawn. While a thin layer is normal and healthy because it helps to protect the soil, the thatch layer should be less than an inch thick. Otherwise, weeds, drought, and other issues may develop with your lawn. If your thatch has thickened to this point, you need to clear it out with a vertical mower or a power rake. It is also a good idea to take preventative measures with core aeration.
Step #4: Reseed and Resod Where Necessary
Depending upon the condition of your lawn, it may be necessary to reseed and resod some or all of the lawn. When doing this, you may need to remove part of the lawn with a sod cutter. Once you have established the area that you wish to resod, you will replace it with soil and with a grass variety that is appropriate for the Boston region. Some recommended grasses include Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Rygrass and Fine-Leaf Fescue. Be sure to first amend the area with topsoil or manure and to water it often until the new grass is established.
Step #5: Establish a Schedule
Proper lawn care maintenance involves establishing a schedule and sticking with it. If necessary, mark certain items on a calendar so you don’t lose track of when it is time to complete certain tasks, such as applying new fertilizer.