Got a dry, brown lawn? Colorado Springs grass experts offer tips to bring it back to life
With the chilly weather and sporadic snow finally coming to an end, it's time to thaw out and start thinking about how to revive your brown, crunchy lawn.
Here are some tips to turn that sad-looking grass into a lawn you will be proud of in the months to come:
Water your lawn
Jon Rick, owner of J. Rick Lawn & Tree, said the most important thing to remember is to water your lawn.
Fertilizer will not do any good if your grass is still dry and brown.
Because this year has been particularly bad with drought, watering is the most important thing to do in the spring.
"We've had 70-degree weather in February and March, and that just fuels the fire," added Rick.
Rick suggests watering your lawn one to two times a week, but the duration of each water depends on the type of sprinkler system you have.
"Although we have had great moisture in the past two weeks, it's just not an adequate amount," Rick said.
According to horticulturist Catherine Moravec, Colorado's climate is so dry that most of the snow that falls on your lawn turns into water vapor before it melts and has a chance to soak into the ground.
Wake up your grass
Clear all leaves and other debris including tree branches from your lawn. Gently rake your lawn as well to "wake up" your grass and assess your sod for any pests or disease that may be harmful to the lawn.
Aeration is also important in the spring. Core aeration removes plugs of sod and loosens the soil, which has likely been compacted due to snow, increasing water penetration.
Rick said that kids, pets and snow cause the lawn to become more compact, and as a result, this can suffocate root zones.
Rick added that roots develop in early spring, so aerating the lawn will help air, moisture and nutrients penetrate the grass.
Aeration can also help prevent fungal diseases, weeds and thatch buildup.
Mow your lawn shorter than usual a few days before aerating to ensure max penetration. Make sure to water your lawn before and after aeration as well.
Check your grass' acidity by purchasing a soil test kit from a home or garden store.
Winter weather can cause pH levels in grass to become acidic, making it difficult for it to thrive. If it does have a high acid level, usually above 7, spread a layer of lime over your lawn to improve grass growth.
Ryan Malloy of Integrated Lawn & Tree Care said January and February were unusually warm and dry, and because of this, desiccation or mite damage may have occurred. Check your lawn for signs of winter damage and address accordingly.