With most of the country immersed in the meteorological phenomena known as a “polar vortex,” it’s probably safe to assume that taking care of your lawn is the furthest thing from your mind. For other outdoorsy and do-it-yourself types, this weather is made bearable by dreams of a fresh new spring, and along with it, a fresh new lawn.
Contrary to popular belief, your lawn does not completely die during the winter. If you’ve taken the right preventative measures in the fall, your lawn can still hold dormant but fruitful seeds deep within the soil. Once the winter has thawed, this will give you a leg up on lawn care. Then, the real fun begins: growing and landscaping. Like anyone with experience caring for their property themselves will tell you, there are plenty of ways to avoid paying more than you have to. Here are 10 quick ways to enjoy your lawn care hobby without putting strain on your wallet:
Prep Prior to Winter
As stated above, preparing your lawn for the impending cold will help it thrive in the spring, which means much less money and maintenance once the warmer temperatures arrive. Raking and watering, even in late autumn, is extremely beneficial to that end. Aerating the lawn and laying down cool weather grass seed will also work wonders throughout the winter—even if you can’t see the results immediately.
Monitor Acidity Early
When the snow melts, mosses and other unwanted growths may start to thrive throughout your lawn. These types of growth signal high acidity in your soil, which hinders the growth of health grass. Applying lime will bring you closer to a neutral pH level, and rid your lawn of moss. Lime takes a while to reach full effectiveness, which is why using it early in the spring will save you money on much more maintenance in the summer.
Once the sun comes out, yourself, children, and pets will all be more apt to spend time outdoors. The increased food traffic is unavoidable, but the damage it causes to your lawn, namely, compacting it so it can’t grow properly, is something you can avoid quite easily. There are a wide range of effective aeration tools, from major machines, to inexpensive aerator shoes you can wear as you spend time outdoors.
Make Use of Dead Leaves
When the snow melts, you invariably find a ton of dead winter leaves in its absence. Instead of raking these leaves into a pile and getting rid of them, make them into mulch. A quality leaf mulcher will finely shred leaves into a substance that is invaluable to any healthy spring lawn. Leaves lighten heavier soil, which helps grass thrive, and they also help sandy soils retain much more moisture. They also provide your lawn with many much needed minerals, all of which is essential to keeping your lawn beautiful and healthy throughout spring, summer, and even fall.
If you miss the first step, remember: there’s always next year! Spreading out the work you put into your lawn will ensure it is sustained year round, with much less expensive and tedious catch-up work.
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Hailey Andersen is an avid blogger and lover of all things lawn care. She enjoys sharing her tips and experiences with her online readers.