Life here at the turf farm has gotten very hectic! The early spring has made the phones ring two weeks earlier than normal. People are buying seed, fertilizer and looking for sod. Everyone wants to have a nice lawn but a lot of people don't know what to do in order to "de-winterize" the grass.
Grass is an extremely hardy plant. You can walk, run, stomp, rip and cover it with snow/ice and it still comes back to life in the spring. I, for one, am amazed by it's ability but then again I am a turf geek.
Once all the snow is gone let the ground absorb some of the water before doing any work. Once that water is well saturated go out with a rake (I use a large plastic fan rake) and do a pass. This process removes some of the dead leaf and allows for more space for new seedlings to grow.
Apply 3 lbs/1000 sq.ft of fertilizer to your lawn after you are done raking. This blend should have a high amount of Nitrogen (the first number). The nitrogen source should be fast release because you want to give your grass a kick in the butt! A slow release lasts very long in the soil which is great for the long, hot summer days but not for spring. Urea is a good form of fast release fertilizer. A number that we use here at the farm is; 22-4-8.
**NOTE** Many people think that fertilizer needs to be watered in but that is not the case. It will release by itself with wind, rain, and traffic. Also, fertilizer IS NOT a pesticide. You, your children and your animals can go on your lawn right after you apply fertilizer.
Lastly, if you want a beautiful spring lawn there is one last step. Apply 2 lbs/1000 sqft. worth of seed to your lawn. The blend should have a high percentage of Kentucky Bluegrass (if that is what your lawn consists of). The little bit of grass will fill in any spots that may not have survived the winter. You can use your fertilizer spreader to apply the seed. Most fertilizer and seed bags have rate numbers on the back to help you calibrate your spreader.
That is it! 3 simple steps to achieve a beautiful lawn in the spring. These steps are important because how you look after your lawn in the spring will determine how it looks for the rest of the summer. Enjoy your lawn!