A rich-green, vigorously growing lawn is sure to make a visual impact. Achieving that dense, green lawn takes some effort, but the results are well worth the few hours of labor. Because the lawns in Ohio spend much of the year covered in snow, it is important to take advantage of the snow-free months.
Begin caring for the lawn immediately after the final frost. Don’t delay on the yard work. The lawn will need every minute of snow-free time to collect its nutrients and rejuvenate its blades. Keep the lawn free of debris, clutter, defoliated leaves and anything else you can find in your lawn. Pay close attention to removing acorns from under the oak tree landscape. If left behind, they will cause bald spots in the lawn.
Dethatch and Aerate
The lawn must be dethatched and aerated to promote good air circulation and sunlight penetration. While some lawns may only require dethatching every other year, the aeration process should be completed every year. The constant freezing and thawing that occurs during the winter eliminates most of the air holes by spring. If bare spots and patches are present, reseed those areas with fresh grass seed. The bare areas should be reseeded in the early spring, just after the spring cleanup.
The lawn requires fertilization to promote vigorous, healthy growth. A well-balanced, slow-release fertilizer such as a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 combination is recommended. Still, substitutions can easily be made. A 20-10-10 or 10-5-5 combination will also provide the same results. Fertilize the lawn approximately every eight to 10 weeks throughout the growing season. The instructions must be followed closely for best results. If the lawn is under drought conditions, delay the fertilization to provide a deep irrigation first. Fertilizing a drought-stressed lawn will cause burn.
Vigorous, rich-green lawn development is also promoted with a deep watering. The lawn should be irrigated deeply and infrequently to promote a strong, deep rooting system. Avoid short, shallow irrigation. The best time to water the lawn is in the early morning. This will allow the root system time to process the water and create nutrients before the evaporative effects of the afternoon sun. Rather than watering the lawn on a schedule, irrigate the lawn when it begins to appear drought stressed. A drought stressed lawn will develop a lackluster color and begin to lose blade resiliency. Loss of resiliency is easily identified with a simple walk across the lawn. If the blades fail to bounce back and the footprints remain, the lawn requires irrigation. A slow irrigation will provide the best results.