Getting ready for the mowing season

Winter can take a toll on your lawn with fluctuating temperatures and dry winter winds. These harsh conditions can cause dead spots in your lawn. Now that spring has arrived, your lawn can use a little extra care to ensure it recovers from any damage winter may have caused and gets your turf grass off to a strong start for the upcoming growing season.

Clean up the yard before mowing. Remove leaves, sticks, papers and any other debris that has accumulated. Remove any dead spots in visible in your lawn by vigorous raking. Once everything has been cleaned up and debris removed, follow with a lower than normal mowing. This should be short enough to remove the dead tips of the grass. This shorter mowing will encourage the roots to waken up and start growing.

If you did have several dead spots, re-seed now. Rake the area thoroughly to roughen up the top soil. Spread an appropriate seed and tamp down the area. If reseeding is required, hold off using any fertilizers with pre-emergent weed controls. You'll still have time to do this application in about 6 weeks. This will give the new grass seed time to sprout and take hold.

After that first mowing, put down a balanced lawn fertilizer. This will help your lawn outgrow any winter damage and to bounce back from any fungus diseases that may have attacked your turf grass while the grass was dormant.

Mower blade being sharpenedGetting your lawn mower ready

If you didn't drain last fall's gasoline from your mower, make sure you dispose of it properly now, unless you used a fuel stabilizer. Change the oil, spark plug, and put fresh gasoline in the tank. Sharpen the mower blade and scrape off any caked on grass clippings from the undercarriage. Put some small squirts of oil on the cables and wheels, and if you have an electric start mower (lucky you), charge up the battery according to manufacturer's directions.


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