Tips For Preparing Your Raleigh Lawn This Spring

Spring is right around the corner, and now is a great time to start thinking about the proper steps to take in order to prepare your lawn for a hot Raleigh summer.  Here are a few tips you can take to ensure you have a healthy beautiful lawn. 

1.  Aeration

Aerating your lawn is something typically done in the fall, because it compliments planting new grass, also called overseeding.  If you have not aerated in a few years, consider doing it this spring.  Aeration is the process of poking holes in your lawn and removing dirt plugs.  The new holes in your lawn allow water, air and nutrients to freely flow to the root bed of your Raleigh lawn.  You can rent an aerator for your local equipment rental shop for about $75 / day, or give us a call to set up an appointment.  

2.  Take a Soil Test

A beautiful Raleigh lawn starts with proper soil.  You can test your soil by picking up a test kit from the North Carolina Department of agriculture found here:  http://www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/pdffiles/stflyer.pdf 

Soil tests are typically free, but during peak times there may be a $4 charge.  The test results reveal a number of different metrics and will reveal nutrient levels that need to be corrected.  A typical problem we face in Raleigh is low acidity, which can be corrected with an annual lime application.  Lime can be find at your local big box store.  

3.  Pre Emergent  

Crabgrass is one of the most common weeds we see in Raleigh.  Crabgrass thrives in our hot climate, typically germinating in late May and continues to grow and spread through September.  A properly timed pre-emergent application and prevent most crabgrass from ever forming.  Thankfully, crabgrass does go away in cooler temperatures, but will return year after year if not properly treated. 

4.  Spring Seeding

If you have a lot of bare areas in your lawn, you may want to consider overseeding your Raleigh lawn in early Spring.  Keep in mind that pre-emergent applications will stunt or completely prevent new grass from growing, so you will have to choose one or the other for your Spring lawn maintenance plan.  

5. Service Your Equipment

Properly maintained equipment can take a lot of the frustration out of caring for your Raleigh lawn.  If your lawn mower sat all winter with a full gas tank and it won't start up, drain all of the fuel and replace with fresh gas.  Also check and replace all filters if necessary.  It is always a good idea to start the season with new or sharpened blades.  Most hardware stores will be able to sharpen your blades for you.  Replace or sharpen a few times throughout the season.  A dull blade shreds your grass and can cause the tips to turn brown and invite disease.