Due to the long winter this year, yards in the Clear Lake, League City, Friendswood, and Pearland areas have been hibernating for months. Now that warmer weather is becoming more frequent your lawn needs to be ready for the kids running playing or those afternoon picnics. Here are the things you may need to do to keep your lawn healthy and looking its best:
- Clean Up Leaves and Dead Grass
The first thing you need to do to prepare your lawn is remove all of the dead leaves and debris left over from winter. Leaving a layer of last-year’s growth on the ground can smother your grass and hinder your lawn’s growth. Also if your grass is particularly thick (as is often the case with St. Augustine, the most common grass in our area) dethatch your lawn to remove dead grass. Once your yard is clear, spread a thin layer of grass soil to provide nutrients for the growing season.
It is very common for soil in the Clear Lake area to be compacted due to its clay nature. Compacted soil makes it hard for roots to grow and water to drain and distribute throughout your yard. So rent or buy an aerator to take plugs from your lawn. These holes will allow air and water to penetrate your soil, which will create healthier and lusher grass.
- Check The Soil’s pH
Most grass and plants grow best when your soil’s pH level is between 6.0 and 7.0. Some plants like a little bit more acidic soil, such as hydrangeas and azaleas. It is critical that your grass and plants grow in their proper pH level to be more healthy and resistant to disease. Buy a soil test kit at your local Home Depot or Lowe’s just to be sure. If it is off balance you will need to adjust it with the proper fertilizer. Consult your local garden center professional or hire one of the many lawn companies such as Scotts or TruGreen to make sure it is done correctly. Incorrect ratios of fertilizer can damage your lawn.
- Weed Prevention
Once you’ve aerated and only if you’re not planning to plant new grass seed, then distribute a chemical weed preventer. Make sure it is safe for your type of lawn and will handle the kinds of weeds you have. Both liquid and granular weed preventers are available (often with fertilizer as well). Lawn companies are again a good choice since they know what kinds of preventers and fertilizers to apply during the different times of the year based upon the weeds that grow during those times.
- Mower Maintenance
Finally, make sure your lawn mower is in prime condition. At a minimum make sure the mower blades are sharp. Dull mower blades can damage the grass. If you have a gas mower then you will want to change the oil as well (As a side note, battery-operated mowers have come a long way- they are powerful, long lasting, self-propelled and still pricey but worth a look). Also inspect the spark plug and either clean or replace. If bad gas has been sitting in the mower too long you make need to take it to a service shop to have the carburetor and fuel lines cleaned.
These simple tips can help ensure your lawn a healthy spring and give it the endurance to last through the hot, often dry, summers here in the Clear Lake, League City, Friendswood, and Pearland areas.