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Lawn care concerns? Testing soil can provide answers

Spring rain and warm temperatures have most homeowners outside assessing their lawns for issues that may have developed over the winter. If you are concerned your yard needs some extra care that goes beyond sharpening your mower blade and a bit of fertilizer, focus on the roots. Your soil is often the best place to start.

Soil testing

A healthy lawn starts with good soil conducive to supporting strong, lush grass. If soil is poor in texture or lacking nutrients, healthy grass cannot grow, so if you have noticed an area of your lawn that is not thriving, or if you plan to seed in a particular area, soil testing is your best plan of action.

Soil tests include physical tests that assess the texture and structure of your soil as well as chemical tests that identify and measure the nutrients in your soil. The results can not only tell you why your lawn may not be thriving, but present information you will need to properly prepare the soil for new seed. A professional laboratory can perform the tests you need using soil samples from you, or talk to a lawn care specialist about soil testing kits you may obtain from a local garden center.

Getting your lawn back in shape may be as simple as treating with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer or adding garden lime to raise the pH level of acidic soil. If you are dealing with soil that drains poorly because of heavy clay content, adding organic matter can help with that.

Spring lawn care tips

Even if your lawn is healthy, your spring checklist should include several steps beyond regular mowing.

  • Rake to remove thatch – Thatch is the dead turfgrass that collects at the roots of new growth. Take a close look at your lawn after early spring growth has begun and use a flexible rake to gently remove any thatch that is deeper than half an inch.

  • Aerate as needed – If the soil appears compacted after dethatching, you may want to consider aerating to improve drainage. This process of removing small soil plugs also allows for a close check for grubs, which can quickly kill an entire lawn. Consult your lawn specialist for advice on treating for grubs.

  • Top dress and overseed – For bare or extremely thin spots that you cannot let go until fall, top dress with a layer of compost to encourage drainage, treat with a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer, and seed, ensuring adequate moisture retention for germination. Once the seeds germinate, continue with a standard fertilization schedule.

  • Fertilize on schedule – The experts at T2 Design can advise you on appropriate compost and fertilizer, including fast- and slow-release formulas that will keep your lawn healthy and thick all summer. Take care not to overfeed in spring, as this can lead to excess weed growth and disease.

  • Mowing and edging – Be sure your mower and lawn care equipment are in good working order with sharp blades and take care not to cut grass too short to avoid scorching.

The team at T2 Design is available to provide full lawn care services, including weed treatment, fertilizing, and expert mowing that will keep your lawn looking its best all season. Call today to schedule your lawn care service.



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