It's the time of year when the sun is shining and the hum of lawnmowers fills the air. According to the Professional Lawn Care Association of America, homeowners spend about $6.4 billion a year on lawn care. Besides a perfect portion of sun and moisture, seed, fertilizer, lawnmowers, and other equipment are all part of trying to achieve the best lawn on the block.


Winter can take a toll on the soil and alter PH, compact the soil and create conditions that promote weeds and disease, so it's crucial that you properly care for, fertilize and mow your yard early in the season. Don't panic when winter's receding now reveals bare spots, invasive plants and other problems.


Risco Landscaping & Irrigation has tips on spring lawn maintenance. 


Height and Frequency of Mowing

Q: What do you recommend as the ideal height to mow grass?

A: 3"-3.5" is the best height to cut the turf. This will help to keep weeds from germinating. It is best to measure the height of the blade to ensure the blade height is correct. Do not assume the proper height based off of the settings shown on the mower blade height gauge or wheel height settings. These settings should be done with the mower off and the spark plug disconnected for safety.

 

Q: Mowing frequency also depends on your lawn's ideal height. Is it true you should never cut more than one-third of the total grass blade length at a time?

 

A: That is correct. Cutting more than 1/3 the height of the grass in one cutting can damage the plants and increase the amount of thatch in the turf. It is best to keep cutting blades sharp for a clean crisp cut. If you notice damage of torn looking blades of grass, it is time to sharpen your mower blades.

 

Reseeding Bare of Brown Areas

Q: Is reseeding a bare spot a fairly simple project? If so, what supplies does it take?

 

A: Reseeding bare spots is fairly simple. It is best to scratch up the area about an inch deep after removing dead layers of grass and thatch. Apply the seed on top of the soil, being careful not to bury the new seed any deeper than the seed is long. Apply the seed on top of the soil and crimp, roll, and compress the seed into the soil to make sure that good seed-to-soil contact is made for the highest germination rates. The use of a high quality seed always returns the best results. Many good brands of seed are available with germination rates up to 99.9% weed free seed. Water properly to ensure a good germination rate.

 

Fertilizing 

Q: How and when to put fertilizer on your lawn seems tricky: is it best to leave fertilizing to the pros?

 

A: Many people choose a lawn service for their fertilization needs. Others are very knowledgeable about fertilization and choose to do it on their own. Either way, it is best to have a program in mind and stick to it.

 

Irrigation

Q: What is the best time and best schedule for watering your lawn?

 

A: It is best to water the lawn in the early morning hours so the lawn can have a good soaking and then get a chance to dry out after the watering cycle. This helps lower the chances of fungus problems. When watering, it is always best to water deeply and less often.