Spring Cleanup 2008
Spring Clean Up
The best thing to do in early spring is to rake your lawn. Any raking effort will help. Even a little raking is good, but a good aggressive raking is much more effective. The idea is to get the thatch out of your lawn so it can breathe right down to the crown. In addition, the heavy snow and ice have caused the blades of grass to lie over, so you will want to get them standing straight up. Don't worry too much about tearing off good blades because the overall results will cover the loss in no time.
Snow mould kills lawns. These yellow circular patches can wreak havoc to people's lawns. There are two types of snow mould: pink snow mould and grey snow mould. However, both types are treated the same. Once you notice these patches immediately rake them out. By doing this, you will allow air to get at the crown of the plants. If you do not do this, the plants could be smothered and have the potential to die. If you notice this on your lawn, I would suggest a heavy raking over the entire area. If you "rake-out" the snow mould in time, your lawn should bounce back in a month or so. Repair the lawn by over seeding at the end of April or early May.
First thing in the spring, as soon as you can walk on the grass without leaving a footprint, give your lawn a thorough raking. Start in one direction and give it a thorough raking.
Then rake the lawn in the other direction thoroughly. Do not worry if you see a quantity of matter come away with the raking. Anything that comes out with a vigorous raking in the spring should not be there anyways and would not do well if left.
Once you have raked, top-dress the whole area with fine compost or composted cattle manure. Put ¾ of an inch over the surface of everything. If you do not wish to compost over seed the lawn once again going in both directions to spread the seed. A good seed mixed with mostly Creeping Red Fescue or Chewing Fescue with some of our native bluegrasses like Peri Poa trivialis, or annual Bluegrass Poa annua, a wild bluegrass.
In patches of areas in your lawn that are not doing well, mix some good top soil with seed, peat moss and manure. This can be done in a wheelbarrow. Spread it on the areas that need it most. You can seed from mid April to May but the ideal time to seed is during the last 2 weeks in August and the first two weeks in September especially for new lawns. Reseed in the spring and fall for a lush thick lawn that will keep the weeds out.
The Happy Gardener