Kansas winters can be harsh and summers can be scorching, so spring is an important time to take steps toward a yard full of green, healthy grass. A few hours of TLC now will help your lawn thrive all season long.
Know What Type of Grass You Have
If your lawn has fescue or rye they are cool-season grasses, and they have growth spurts in spring and fall. In the Wichita areas, we have a combination of warm-season and cool season grasses. Some of the warm season grasses are Bermuda and zoysia. Warm season grasses green up later in the spring as we approach summer.
Make sure you have gas on hand for your lawn mower and trimmer, and change the spark plugs or oil on these items if needed. You may want to get your mower blade sharpened, and make sure you have plenty of string for the trimmer.
Clean Up Debris
When your lawn is dry, pick up leaves, twigs and other debris. Doing so when the ground is wet can damage new grass. This is also a good time to put away any children’s toys or other odds and ends that are sitting on the lawn, before they can cause dead spots in the grass.
Scalping lawns in the spring is really reserved for those really thick Bermuda or zoysia established lawns. I recommend only scalping those after the frost freeze date of April 15th. Another great way to control for any thatch build up in fescue or Bermuda lawns is core aeration in the fall. September and October are the best months for aeration of fescue and mid-summer for warm season lawns.
Set Up a Watering Schedule
Unless it’s a rainy spring, you’ll need to start watering as soon as the grass begins to grow. Your lawn will need about an inch of water per week to start.
Treat for Weeds
Stop weeds like crabgrass before they take over your lawn by applying a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring. We recommend having your pre-emergent applied in the months of February or March. In the Wichita areas a general rule of thumb is crabgrass will germinate around April 15th once the ground temperature reaches 55 degrees.
If you have not applied your pre-emergent by then you will more than likely have a break out of crabgrass in your lawn during the season. Pre-emergent is the best control of crabgrass. For control of the broadleaf weeds in the spring, dandelions, henbit, and chickweed needs to be controlled with a liquid application which is the most effective control of emerged weeds.
Plant New Grass
Planting new fescue is best done in the fall. If you opt out of a good weed/feed program in the spring to try and sow fescue what happens is you get some good growth but most areas will fill up with weeds through out the summer and you will have to seed again in the fall. It’s best to stay on a weed/feed program and plan on your seeding needs in the fall. If you just have to touch up some small areas just rake those and break the barrier of pre-emergent. Just realize you will fight a few more weeds by doing so when seeding in the spring. Sodding is an option and will not affect any of your weed/feed program.
Late spring application for white grubs is the best control method. It works kind of like a pre-emergent. Control them before they get really bad in late summer early fall. Apply a good grub proofing in June.
Test the Soil
If you’re in a new home, or just want to see what can be done to improve the condition of your soil, the Sedgwick County Extension office can do a soil test. It takes about 2-3 weeks to get your results, which will include nutrient and pH levels, as well as suggestions for improving both.
If you have warm-season grasses, apply fertilizer after the last frost when your yard has turned green and the grass has begun to grow. In central Kansas, this will typically be in late April or early May.
If you have warm-season grass, you can aerate your lawn in the early summer, during the peak growth period. Aeration for cool-season grasses is best in fall. Using a core or spike aerator to remove small plugs of dirt and grass will allow the roots to spread out and moisture, oxygen, and other nutrients to easily absorb into the soil. You can rent a mechanical aerator or use a manual one.
Maintaining a lush, healthy lawn does take a bit of time and effort, so if you don’t want to do all this yourself, let the professionals at Reddi Lawn Care take care of it for you. Call us today at 316-858-0736 to schedule your service.
Resources found on our website are provided as general guidelines, and Reddi Industries does not assume any liability resulting from the provided information.