Georgia's groundhog Beauregard Lee did not see his shadow this year – meaning that he has predicted an early beginning to spring. Whether or not you subscribe to the predictions of these fluffy Nostradamuses, it might be a good time to start thinking about your lawn's springtime needs. We've put together a list of 5 important things to focus on before spring takes hold:
Crabgrass is quick to spawn, but tough to get rid of. This annually-emerging weed is best handled before it gets the chance to germinate – apply pre-emergent treatments on your lawn to prevent the seeds of a crab grass plant from maturing in the first place. These treatments are necessary to complete each year but be sure to time any grass seeding to not coincide with a pre-emergent treatment.
As we mentioned above, seeding may not be the best course of action during the early spring, since pre-emergent treatments will affect any seeds planted in your lawn, not just crabgrass seeds. Now, though, is a great time to fertilize your lawn, and if there are spots that are too big to treat, it might be time to look at sod. Regardless of what method you choose, be sure to water regularly to help your grass grow healthy and uniform, and be sure to adjust watering amounts based on temperatures and the amount of sunlight day-to-day.
Once your grass has shaken off the cold and begun to grow again, it's important to be ready with a maintained, sharpened lawn mower. Cutting your lawn regularly as the season starts up will help the grass to build more deeply rooted roots, which will help it to stay strong during tough times, such as the deep winter.
If you've read through our guides for caring for your lawn during the winter and fall months, you know the importance of regular raking to prevent grass from suffocating under leaf cover. During the spring, however, raking can help to break up thatch which has built up underneath the green leaves of your grass. This thick layer of not-yet decomposed grass can prevent nutrients, air, and water from reaching the roots of your grass. To combat it, be sure to rake your lawn during the spring as well as the autumn.
In Georgia, the frosts we get tend not to be extreme, but winter frosts can still damage grass and create headaches come springtime. Killing frosts can sometimes create large patches of dead grass that will need to be corrected one way or another. If you aren't planning on treating your lawn with pre-emergent treatments, overseeding is one option, although it is generally recommended to wait until the fall months to overseed. For areas of serious need, it might be time to consider placing sod in the areas that are too large to fill back in on their own.