Almost here, almost. The amount of snow we’ve had and the amount of time the lawn has been under it, means it will need some time to adjust. The lawn will be extremely soggy, so don’t jump out on it right away to clean up the sticks and the dog mess. Let it heal a little bit, let the temperatures warm up a bit more and have the sun hit it for a few days. You will only harm the lawn if you get out there too early.
Once it does dry a bit, the sun will give it some color and it will stretch itself out. At that point, go ahead and do some light cleaning and raking. Use your best judgement as to how aggressive to rake it. If the grass has strengthened up and the ground is dry, than you can thatch it.
The de-thatching should be done prior to any crabgrass control. The pre-emergent creates a barrier over the organic material to stop the growth of crabgrass and if the thatching is done after this treatment, the barrier will be destroyed.
Also a quick word on spring seeding. The best time of the year for germination is in the fall after the last heat wave. The next best time is right when the weather pops for the spring. Once the weather heats up, it becomes a chore to keep it wet and crabgrass will more than likely take over. If you do seed in the spring, rough up the surface, or top coat it with fresh loam and rake the seed into the soil a bit. Avoid this area with the crabgrass control because it will keep the seed from sprouting. Use a good dose of lime and a starter fertilizer. Since phosphorous is the most important nutrient for root development, the middle number on the bag should be the highest of the three. The bag will more than likely say “Starter” on it.
If you are only seeding a few areas, than use crabgrass control on the established lawn, and use starter fertilizer on the fresh seed. Lime the whole area.
I typically recommend to not core aerate in the spring. Often times the plugs and holes that are pulled from the ground will be filled in with crabgrass. Weeds will grow where the grass is not, and the holes will not have grass and be vulnerable to weeds. Thatch in the spring with a good crabgrass control, and aerate and seed in fall.
Thanks for checking in, we’ll be out shortly to get the lawns going