Spring Lawn Care for Northeast

Like other regions in the U.S., the northeast experiences various weather conditions. It's not uncommon for people living in the northeast to experience heavy snowfall in the winter and scorching temperatures during the summer. These conditions can make it difficult for homeowners in the northeast to properly care for their lawns. However, with a bit of preparation during the spring, homeowners can have healthy lawns year round.

Before the Snow Melts and the Ground Thaws

Spring lawn care in the northeast begins before the snow thaws. While you're awaiting the end of winter, you can prepare for spring by servicing your mower. Mower maintenance can include the following:

  • Sharpening or replacing mower blades
  • Changing the air filter and the oil
  • Replacing the spark plugs
  • Installing a new oil filter
  • Draining the engine stabilizer
  • Adding a fresh tank of gas

In addition to servicing one's mower, lawn care experts also recommend checking the chemical cabinet. If you don't have one, this is the best time to purchase one because you'll be using it throughout the year. When searching for a chemical cabinet, keep in mind that chemicals should be stored in a locked metal cabinet. When assessing the contents of your cabinet, make sure to throw out any expired products.

When the Snow Melts and the Ground Thaws

It's important to refrain from mowing the lawn until the snow has completely melted. This is because mowing can damage the frozen grass. Experts also recommend that homeowners resist walking on their wet lawns because footprints may compact the soil, causing larger lawn problems like thatch and drainage issues.

Check for snow mold once the snow melts and the ground thaws. If you notice snow mold on your lawn, rake it up and throw it away. Although it's best to remove snow mold as soon as possible, you can wait for snow mold to go away on its own once the weather warms up.

Apply a pre-emergent herbicide once the ground has thawed and drained. This type of herbicide prevents weeds from sprouting. If you decide to use a granular pre-emergent product, make sure that you water the lawn thoroughly after application.

You'll want to test the soil's pH level before applying fertilizer. Doing this will ensure the health of your plants because soil pH affects nutrient uptake. If the pH is poorly balanced, the lawn grass will be unable to benefit from fertilizer. Fortunately, you can solve a pH problem by adding either lime or sulfur. For soil with a pH level that is too low (below 6.0), applying lime will raise its level. If the pH level is too high (above 7.5), you can lower it by using aluminum sulfate.

When the Lawn Starts Growing

Your lawn should receive its first fertilizer treatment only after it starts to actively grow. Typically, spring fertilizer treatments are either balanced (10-10-10) or are slightly higher in nitrogen (15-10-10 or 15-0-0). Non-phosphate fertilizers-those containing zero phosphate- have become more common because phosphate can cause problems with water quality when it drains out of the soil.

It's time to mow once the lawn begins to grow. For the first two or three mowings, remember to keep the mower blade high for your lawn's grass type. This will help reduce damage caused by mowing. To prevent weeds from spreading, keep an eye out for lawn weeds. If necessary, use post-emergent herbicide to get rid of weeds. You can also prevent weeds from spreading by either using roundup or digging them up. This will help reduce the likelihood that the weed will flower and set seeds.

It can be quite challenging to care for a lawn, especially in the northeast. For this reason, many homeowners may seek assistance from a professional lawn care company that possesses more knowledge about the region.

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