If you are the owner of warm-season grass, then the first day of spring couldn’t come fast enough! Rather than waiting for the frosty weather to pass and hoping for the best, here are 10 things you can do to give your lawn a kick start when spring comes around - and hopefully make this last stretch of winter go by just a little quicker.
Before you think of fertilising, pay attention to the bad guys first; weeds, pests and disease. The attention over winter is to get on top of things like broadleaf weeds that rob nutrients from a lawn that isn’t growing. The fewer issues you have late in winter makes for a better start to spring.
Compaction happens more over winter and lawn won’t grow in compacted soil. Pitchfork aerate to let the air, water and nutrients get to the root-zone and don’t be overly concerned about top-dress at this time of the year; there’s no need for that just yet, although you may want to get your hands on some just in case (Read on to Tip 7)
Winter lawns still needs to be fertilised. Use a fertiliser that is balanced in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. You don’t want to use high nitrogen fertilisers at this time. Use fertilisers like Lawnporn’s Launch+ with added kelp to focus on root health instead.
No matter the condition of your lawn, if you get frost, a quick 5-minute water to melt the ice in the morning will lessen damage and browning that it causes.
Use the winter downtime to fix & service your gear and get ready for spring! If you’re not sure what to look out for, visit your local Bushranger dealer and have a professional take a look at your equipment and give you the best advice for care and maintenance over the coming season!
Most of us don’t have scarification machines or aerators for spring renovation and will likely have to hire. Spring is hammer time for demand of gear like this so book early to avoid any disappointment. Organise your mates to share the cost and give each other a hand. It’s a big job. Divide and conquer!
Spring time is high demand time for top-dress and sand yards can run out quickly. If you have the room to store it consider grabbing top-dress before the rush! Even if your yard doesn’t run out of top-dress, you’ll be prepared and expend less effort on renovation day.
The tail end of winter is the time to think about putting down a slow release granular fertiliser with a bit more oomph; meaning more nitrogen!
You want to time it when you start seeing a little growth and about 2-3 weeks before your planned spring renovation. It’ll help boost the renovation process leading to a faster recovery. Lawnporn’s ‘Four Seasons’ granular used with Bushranger’s Granular Spreader is your friend here. With multiple stages of nitrogen release and slow release potassium, it will provide the plant with a sustained and uniform growth response!
At this point, you may not have mowed for several weeks but it’s time to give your freshly serviced gear a shakedown and your lawn, a wakeup call.
This is best saved for the end of winter and just as you start seeing a bit of lawn growth and warmth in the weather forecast. You’ll want a bit more heat to the ground to help activate the root-zone and the mow will kick-start the lawn and get it ‘thinking’ about growth again.
This is NOT an aggressive mow-down; it’s a gentle touch. Doing this also reduces the amount of material you’ll move in the spring renovation. I personally prefer to do this with a Bushranger Rotary Mower for the ease and also picking up tree leaves and debris that may be on the lawn.
Ok, so it may be a little late to backtrack here but keep this in mind for autumn next year. You should always be thinking 2 seasons ahead. The best way to get the best start to spring is ending autumn with the lawn in the best possible condition. A healthy lawn that has well-maintained soil, good nutrient supply, is weed free, without pests, disease and minimal thatch, will always fare better over the winter dormancy than lawns with issues and poorer health. Growing a bit taller here will make the most of the scares sunlight for photosynthesis and also act as a weed-mat blocking the sun to germinate weeds.
So, here's a quick recap! Prepare for spring by getting rid of the bad guys, aerating the compacted soil and fertilising for root health. End winter by giving your serviced equipment a tickle with a gentle mow to let your lawn know spring is coming and organise your resources and materials for the spring renovation ahead.
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