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Get a head start on spring lawn care

Get a head start on spring lawn care

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AMES, Iowa – Prep work now will benefit your lawn this spring and summer. 

Adam Thoms, assistant professor in horticulture and turgrass extension specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, offers the following tips.

If your lawn is matted down, it could be a fungus caused by the large amounts of snow Iowans received this winter. Thoms said the first step to reviving your lawn is to rake the grass until it stands up. It is too late in the season for a fungicide application, but fertilizer and warm weather usually do the rest.

Spring fertilizer is a great way to green up the yard quickly. Typically, apply three-fourths of a pound per 1,000 square feet of nitrogen using a “slow-release” fertilizer. The slow release will help avoid burning and other injuries to the lawn.

Lingering drought conditions from last year might delay the release of your fertilizer and the lawn may take longer to grow. If you seeded your lawn last fall, it will likely need to be reseeded this spring. The fall drought may have dried out the seedlings.

If you are seeding this spring, avoid applying a crabgrass preventer. Although effective at preventing crabgrass, this product will also keep the regular grass seed from germinating.

Once the lawn starts to green up and the ground is firm, it is time to take the mower out and see if it needs serviced. Be sure to remove any twigs or debris from your lawn so that they don’t get stuck in the mower or dull the mower’s blade.

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