Aerating your yard in the spring can give your lawn that extra jump after coming out of winter dormancy. Aeration simply put is removing plugs from your yard to allow for better water and air penetration into the soil. This in turn helps the turf develop a deeper root system and helps in water run-off too. When it comes to aerating your yard, a lot of people consider doing this in the fall. Spring is also a good time to consider aerating your yard. Timing is the key if you plan on putting down a pre-emergent or controlling weeds. We suggest aerating in the spring in late April or early may. This is the middle window after crab grass treatment and late spring weed control.
Spring has always been known to be a rainy season around St. Louis. Like they say, “April showers bring May`s flowers.” Spring aerating can help to control the water run-off, if your lawn has a tendency to have standing water. Your probably wondering by now, well how do I know if my yard needs aerating? A good way to tell is look for standing water and also take a screwdriver and push it into the ground. If the screwdriver goes into the ground easily, without pounding it, is a good sign your yard isn`t compacted. Another way to tell is dig a small patch of you yard up and see how deep the roots are. Make sure you dig down about 4”-5” to get a good view of the root system. If the roots on your yard are only 1”-2” deep, this is a sign that root system is developing strong, deep roots.
Remember to water your yard a day or two before aerating, this helps the tines get a deeper penetration when aerating. You want a moist yard but not a wet, soppy yard when aerating. Remember not to aerate freshly laid sod or newly seeded areas for about 6 months to allow the turf to get settled in. Try to avoid using any weed control after immediately aerating as the treatment can hurt the existing root system of your yard. Aeration of your yard can be done by most homeowners. If you need any help with it though, we provide core aerating service. I would be more than glad to come out and take a look at your yard. And as always, estimates are free.
Spring is the time when your lawn is coming out of winter dormancy depending if you have warm-season grass like zoysia, or cool-season like fescue is a factor when fertilizing your lawn in the spring. Usually when ground temperatures remain at 50 Deg. for more than three days is a good thing to keep in mind when fertilizing your lawn.
Warm season grass should be fertilized from May through August. Early spring (March/April) fertilization benefits weeds and promotes premature top growth before roots begin to grow. Late fertilization (September) may interfere with the natural hardening process before winter. Cool season grasses can be fertilized in Mar-April to help prevent crab grass and feed the lawn as it wakes up and is hungry.
Feeding your lawn once a year is a very good thing in the spring to combat crab grass develop and help feeds as the turf comes out of winter dormancy. A good general idea though is to feed your yard four times a year to reap all the benefits as discussed earlier. The four part feeding will give your lawn that extra ump it needs to make you the envy of the neighborhood. The first feeding comes in the early spring, as mentioned, to feed the waking lawn from winter dormancy and deter developing crab grass and foxtail. In Missouri, the best time to feed is before April 5th, to make sure the fertilizer is in place before temperatures remain 50 Deg. for three days in with the crab grass develops. The second feeding comes in late spring (May-June) when the lawn is using up stored nutrients, and broadleaf weeds are actively growing with the constant warm weather hanging around. A good weed-n-feed combination is a good product to use during this application. The third application comes in mid-summer (July-Aug) when the lawn is suffering from the summer heat. A general fertilizer is a good thing to use to give your lawn that extra needed energy to help during this stressful time. The fourth application comes in early fall with cooler temperatures setting in and more rainfall. This again is another time that broadleaf weeds can become a nuisance. A good weed-n-feed is a good idea again to use at this time as with the late spring application.
If you have any questions on a good fertilization program, give us a call as we can help answer your questions.