How to Help Your Lawn Spring Back from Winter
Winter snow is almost gone in many parts of New Hampshire, and homeowners are finding that the landscaping and lawn they last saw in November looks very different now.
Winter takes its toll, and in this case, shabby is never chic. The ravages of snow, freezing rain and the melting process can leave a bad first impression on anyone who passes by – including potential buyers.
Spring: A time of rebirth – and yard work
Your lawn and landscaping typically will require some TLC to look beautiful again. It is time to evaluate what needs to be done to boost your curb appeal and reclaim your yard from old man winter.
Here’s where to begin:
- How dead are my shrubs? Most will make it through the winter and rebound just fine. If a plant is crushed, yellow, and shows no sign regrowth, it is time to dig it out and replace it once there is no threat of a frost.
- How dead is my lawn? Most of your grass probably survived, but dead patches, known as “winter kill” are common. They usually occur in areas without tree cover, which are wide open to exposure to all the ravages of winter – especially the freezing temperatures. Dead patches will be sparse, pale brown, or yellow.The age/maturity of your lawn plays a role in how well it survives. Established grass may have handled the winter better than grass you planted last August. Even the type of grass variety, soils, and mowing height all play a role in the endurance of your lawn.
Make lawn repairs after the risk of frost has passed:
- For small repairs, identify dead areas and gently rake the damaged turf out so surrounding grass can fill in the gaps.
- If the damaged areas are large, rake to remove the dead material with a garden rake and then loosen the soil. Depending on the type of grass, replace with sod and/or seed, which are readily available at garden centers.
- When replanting patches, try to use the same type of grass you already have. Don’t mix different grass varieties in the same lawn if possible because the growing requirements are not always the same.
- Seeds should be applied evenly, lightly raked into the soil and/or covered with a thin layer of topsoil, and then rolled to ensure seed to soil contact. Cover the seeded area with a thin layer of mulch to prevent seedlings from drying out.
Care and Watering
- It is vital to keep repaired areas moist by applying small quantities of water several times each day for about two weeks. Do not turn the sprinkler on constantly, since this keeps the area too wet, promotes disease problems, and wastes water.
- After the seedlings emerge or the sod starts to grow and take root, reduce the irrigation frequency but increase the amount. Once established, apply between 1/2 to 3/4 inch water to encourage a deep root system. Add fertilizer to new seedlings one week after they emerge.
Once your new grass reaches over 30 percent of the desired height, you can safely start mowing it. Once warmer weather sets in, your lawn should flourish as long as we get adequate rainfall. Newly planted shrubs should be fertilized (ask your garden center for recommendations) and watered according to their specific needs.
Your yard makes an important first impression on guests and potential buyers. Curb appeal counts, but unfortunately, it doesn’t happen without a bit of work. Spring is a popular time to sell a home, but things like staging, yard cleanup and landscaping care are important factors in how well your home shows to potential buyers.
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