Spring is a fresh start for your entire home, inside and out. If winter wreaked havoc on your lawn, these spring lawn care tips will help you reset your outdoor space and create a solid foundation for the rest of the year.
A strong start makes maintaining your lawn easier and more effective, but weather technology from AcuRite will help you anticipate weather events and prepare for aftercare that will keep your lawn healthy and lush no matter what the forecast may bring.
Back to Basics
If you’re a natural green thumb, you probably already know your lawn down to the roots. If you’re just starting to dig in and get your hands dirty, however, the first thing to do is identify the specific type of grass growing around your home. The species will help determine everything from proper mowing length to irrigation levels, as well as the optimal time for fertilizing and aerating your lawn.
For example, warm-season grasses tend to hit peak growth toward the end of the spring or early summer, which makes mid-spring the perfect time to feed and fertilize your lawn. Conversely, cool-season grasses benefit from a layer of fertilizer in the fall, which leads to an explosion of green when spring arrives.
Of course, springtime in the Northeast and Midwest is very different from springtime in the South or on the West Coast, and grass doesn’t stick to a monthly schedule. Temperature is the best way to gauge your lawn’s different growth and dormancy cycles, and soil heats and cools at a different rate than air. Get the inside scoop on your lawn with the AcuRite Outdoor Monitor with Liquid & Soil Temperature sensor, which uses a sensor probe to give you accurate readings deep below the surface and create a clear picture of which direction your grass is going.
This sensor probe is compatible with AcuRite Access™ for remote smart lawn monitoring that can be tracked through the My AcuRite™ app and website. The internet-connected option even gives you the ability to receive weather alerts and check soil conditions right on your smartphone.
Here’s a spring lawn care tip for any area: All lawns benefit from meticulous weeding and pest control, but depending on your region and type of grass, you will find different invasive species and pesky bugs trying to ruin all your hard work. Take pictures of the uninvited guests in your yard, search them online or show them to an expert at your local gardening store, and figure out the methods and tools you need to keep your lawn pristine.
Reseed and Resod
After months of snow and freezing soil, your lawn will likely emerge looking a little worse for the wear. If you want to know how to fix dead grass or bald spots, the simple answer is to prevent them before they happen. Overseeding your lawn before the first frost is an effective way to compensate for the cold and lack of nutrition and sun, and the best time to do so depends again on the type of grass you grow. But overseeding helps with maintenance too. For example, it can help if you have shady spots that don’t get much sun or in high-traffic areas where shoes are tearing up turf.
Forgot to overseed last season? If your lawn looks particularly ragged, laying down sod can help bring it back to green glory. In springtime, the best strategy is to lay it down before the rainy season starts up. Dry weather helps seeds in sod extend their roots deeper into your yard and ensures watering consistency once storm clouds arrive. Stay on top of the weather with the AcuRite Atlas™ Weather Station with Direct-to-Wi-Fi Display and Lightning Detection so you can know how to adjust your watering cycle after heavy rains with the AcuRite Soil Moisture Meter. This ensures that your soil and new sod are getting enough water.
You can’t control things like sunlight or temperature, but you can keep your lawn properly watered all year round. For a lower cost and more portable solution than the AcuRite Atlas, consider the AcuRite Weather Station with Rain Gauge and Lightning Detection, which keeps track of every inch of rain your lawn receives all spring. It will also alert you to high temperatures or forecasted rain to help you determine if it’s time to bring out the hose for a quick drink or switch off your automatic sprinklers to avoid drowning your grass.
The rain gauge automatically self-empties after each downpour, records weekly and monthly rainfall totals, and even has historical data like average rainfall in months and years prior. Simply compare your data to the instructions on your seeds and sod, and you’ll be able to keep your lawn perfectly hydrated by predicting and recording the weather.
However, if your AcuRite Weather Station senses lightning strikes in the area and the associated changes in barometric pressure, it may be time to hunker down and start planning how to fix a soggy yard.
How to Fix a Soggy Yard
Proper preparation can mitigate damage for a soggy yard after a storm or heavy rainfall, but the best thing to do after a storm is to take a hands-off (and feet-off!) approach:
- Avoid walking or dragging anything on wet grass and soil
- No mowing or extensive digging or raking — soaked soil is loose enough for grass to rip away under even slight pressure or pulling
- Wait until your lawn is completely drained and fully dried before heading out to assess the damage
- Cover up any minor cuts on your hands and wear waterproof gear when you do, because standing water and flooding can introduce all kinds of chemical and biological contaminants into your yard
Additionally, check for areas where water has collected or where the damage is particularly intense to map them out. You may need to improve drainage, level out those spots, or even resod them altogether if too much soil has been stripped away. Gently rake or hose away heavy debris, silt, dead leaves, and other decaying organic material — these are havens for pests and harmful bacteria that can choke your lawn. While you head out on your survey, use the opportunity to aerate your lawn as much as possible. This process is not only easier and more effective when soil is damp, but will strengthen roots to withstand the next storm and improve the overall health of your lawn.
Above all, be patient and let nature run its course. That’s the ultimate spring lawn care tip: lawns need time to grow and go through natural phases, and you can’t rush things too much. However, you can always plan for what’s ahead, and AcuRite weather technology will empower you to take your yard to the next level.