Living in a climate with four seasons certainly keeps life interesting. As the seasons change, so do our activities and often our moods! Those of us living in these climates have a love/hate relationship with it. We enjoy the change of scenery but after a long winter of being trapped inside with one another, we need to get outside and enjoy better weather. Spring and Summer allow us to do that.

It’s a time for people to get together, and since the weather is nice, hosting outside allows you to have a larger crowd of friends and family. The kids can enjoy running and playing fun games on the lawn while the adults relax and enjoy the pleasant summer weather. Wafting smells of the grill will be in the air making everyone hungry for hamburgers, hotdogs, or whatever other delicious foods are being prepared while summer tunes set the vibe. These are the days we long for all winter, but if your lawn is not in good condition, these easy summer days can quickly be spoiled. Here are a few tips to keep your yard healthy so you can have many days like this all summer long.


Clean Up Left Over Winter

Before you can do any work on the lawn, you must first get rid of any debris or damage left behind from winter. Start by picking up any sticks or branches that dropped from trees. You may also need to do some raking since leaves likely have fallen since you raked in the fall (you did rake in the fall, right?) The snowplow may have left behind stones or turned up areas of the yard if you don’t have a border. These should be raked out, and any turned-over lawn should be returned to its spot as early as possible. Hopefully, there are no Spring surprises with snowstorms!


Give the Grass Some Sustenance

Winter wasn’t just hard on you; it was also difficult for the grass to survive the elements. As the temperatures rise and the Spring rains come, your grass will begin to grow. You can help it to begin the season right by giving it a little boost to get it started. Choose an organic or synthetic rapid-release fertilizer that will get it going quickly. Just remember that once it starts growing, it will also be time to start cutting!


Decide Which Plants are Weeds

The definition of what is considered a weed has been changing recently. Some plants, like dandelions, have been treated as a weed in the lawn for the past few decades. However, some believe they provide much-needed nectar for pollinators and should be left alone. Others continue to see them as an invasive component of their nice green grass. The good news is that you get to decide how you want to manage the extra plants in your yard. If you’re going to get rid of them, start early, as they will quickly begin to take over the yard. Leaving them for the pollinators will create less work for you but going barefoot in the grass might lead to a sting on your foot.


Dethatch Where Needed

Let’s start by discussing thatch and why it can harm your lawn. All living things die at some point, including grass. As the grass dies, it ends up on top of the soil beneath the living grass. Generally, the dead grass decomposes and creates nutrients for the grass that lives on (kind of poetic.) This thin layer helps keep the growing roots cool and moisturized. Sometimes, the dead grass and leaves pile up and do not break down quickly. A thicker layer forms and creates a barrier to the living grass; this is thatch. Getting water and nutrients becomes challenging, and the growing grass will suffer. You can walk through your yard and see if you have any areas with this thick layer. During the Spring, use a rake or specialty tool to remove this thick layer of thatch so your new grass can get what it needs.


Clean Up the Edges

You may have straight edges or curved ones; either way, chances are the growing grass has made them less defined. Each year as the grass grows, homeowners become frustrated as the grass begins to invade their landscaping beds. Creating a nice sharp edge between the lawn and your beds will simplify mowing and define the lines of your yard. This can be done by using a sharp spade or edging shovel to cut the grass off where you want it to end. Done correctly, this should be an annual job, but occasionally it may need to be repeated later in the season.


Maintain a Mowing Schedule

There is a lot of preparation for getting our lawn healthy and thriving. Once it is off and going, it must be maintained, or it will quickly become unhealthy again. Develop a routine around cutting the grass. This often needs to be done weekly unless there is a particularly dry summer. If you cannot complete this task due to your schedule, consider hiring a lawn service who will ensure it is done for you. If it is well maintained, your lawn will look good and be healthy!

If this seems like a lot of work and you would rather enjoy the backyard get-togethers without doing too much, Groundscapes can ensure your yard is ready for the party. Contact us to get started.