Landmark's Tips for Spring Lawn Care
Rake all leaves, twigs, brown vegetation
and debris from lawn to allow the sun's
full warmth and light to reach the soil.
Check the Thatch Layer Build-Up
Thatch is the layer of dead grass found
at ground level, below the healthy green
grass. If thatch is 1/2 inch thick or
more, it must be removed to allow
fertilizer and moisture to work into the
soil. THIS IS IMPORTANT! Removal of
thatch forces the grass roots to go
deeper instead of growing within the
thatch layer. When the extreme heat of
summer arrives, shallow rooted grass
will not survive.
All thatch must be removed from any area
in which you intend to seed, as seed
MUST come in direct contact with soil.
Thatch can be removed with a special
thatch rake (available at Landmark) if
the area is small, but for larger areas
you will need to rent a power thatcher.
Testing the Soil
it yourself soil test kits are for sale
at Landmark, or soil samples can be
brought to Landmark for testing. The
court house in Port Washington also has
soil test kits for sale which you fill
and send to Madison for testing. (It
takes about two weeks.)
Checking for Crabgrass
The most effective time to apply a
pre-emergent crabgrass control is in
April or early May. Landmark also
carries a summer crabgrass control.
Always allow grass to grow to a full 3 -
3 1/2 inches before the first spring
mowing. (Cut to 2 1/2 inches.) This will
help shade the crabgrass seed and
inhibit its germination. See mowing
Areas treated for crabgrass should not
be seeded this spring. Wait for late
summer. All other areas should be
checked for bare spots or thinning. Seed
as early in spring as possible. Soil
should be dry enough so that it will not
stick to boots. When squeezed in your
hand, it should not drip water, and it
should crumble easily. Soil temperature
should be 50 - 60 degrees. Consider
whether the area will be shady or sunny,
wet or dry, heavy traffic, etc.
A LAWN EXPERT IS ALWAYS READY TO HELP
YOU AT LANDMARK!
Before seeding, be sure to read the
paragraph on thatch build-up above. Once
thatch is removed, prepare soil for
over-seeding by scratching the surface
with a bow or garden rake. The amount of
seed required is sometimes difficult to
determine. It's always better to buy a
little more than you feel you'll need.
Any excess grass seed will keep for
quite a few years if stored in a dry
Mulching with straw can be very
beneficial. It will reduce erosion, and
protect seedlings from extreme
temperature changes and the moisture
robbing effect of the wind and sun. Keep
it light though, figure on one bale for
each 1,000 sq. ft. (25 x 40 foot area).
Next to fall, the most important time to
fertilize is early spring. Landmark
recommends a high nitrogen fertilizer in
spring. Nitrogen is the first set of
numbers on the fertilizer bag:
(00-xx-xx). It encourages a lush green
top growth. For areas NOT being seeded,
a lawn builder, like 27-3-3 or 27-5-10
(both are slow release) is just the
ticket. A low cost option would be
10-10-10 (fast release) or Milorganite.
For areas being over-seeded, Landmark
recommends a fertilizer high in
phosphorous. It encourages root
development. Phosphorous is the second
set of numbers on the fertilizer bag:
(xx-00-xx). We also sell a starter
fertilizer made specifically for the
job. Milorganite may also be used.
A healthy lawn will actually crowd out
weeds. Until your lawn reaches this
point, however, you may want to use a
weed & feed. Spring is the best time to
Make sure you're starting the season
with a good sharp blade on your mower.
Raise the blade to a height of 2 1/2
inches, and cut the lawn when it reaches
about 3 1/2 inches. This longer grass
has several advantages:
It helps maintain a constant soil
temperature for better growing
It blocks sunlight from weed seeds,
helping to prevent germination.
It creates a higher photo synthesis to
encourage deeper root growth.
Deeper roots will better handle the
extreme heat later this summer.
If you have questions about anything
on this page, please feel free to ask