The Spring Lawn Care Guide for Metairie 

Springtime can bring out the best in your lawn and the worst in your lawn. In this guide we will discuss how we can ensure you only see only the best in your lawn this spring. For your lawn to thrive this spring you should remember to give it the care and attention required for it to flourish, before thinking about outside activities and enjoying our green areas. You will need to consider when and how to mow and what supplements to add to your lawn. 

1. Post-Winter Evaluation of Your Lawn 

The absolute first thing you should do in spring, or right before spring starts, is examine any damage that winter may have caused to your grass before you begin spring maintenance. You will need to look for patches of thin or dead grass, areas with compacted soil, thatch accumulation, and any abnormalities in the condition of the grass. This first step will assist in efficiently customizing your lawn care strategy. 

Handling Thatch and Compaction  

The layer of organic materials known as thatch sits between the soil's surface and the verdant flora. While some thatch might be helpful, too much of it hinders nutrients, moisture, and oxygen from getting to the soil. It is very rare for lawns in Metairie or the surrounding areas to have excess thatch buildup. In the rare case that it does, you should use a power rake or other equipment to dethatch if your thatch is greater than half an inch. 
If you notice that your lawn is not draining rainwater so well in high-traffic locations, you may have soil compaction. This is when the soil is so compacted that it inhibits how far your grass' roots can grow into the soil. The best way to solve compaction is by liquid or mechanical aeration. Liquid aeration uses chemicals to break down bonds allowing water and air to penetrate the soil deeper, thus uncompacting the soil.  Mechanical aeration works by making little holes in the soil to let air, water, and nutrients pass through. The machine used for this process is called a core aerator. We recommend using one that eliminates soil clogs for optimal results. 

2. When and How to Mow Your Grass

You may not think it is such a big deal, but regular mowing throughout the season not only keeps your lawn looking nice but also encourages healthier grass growth. A good growth pattern is established by the first mow of the season. This is one of the many important secrets to a healthy lawn.


Height and Frequency of Mowing

As a rule of thumb, never remove more than one-third of the grass blade in a single mowing. This rule is according to conventional lawn care guidelines and has been published in many studies. Since Metairie is in the southern part of the United States, we have "warm-season grass types" such as Bermuda grass, St. Augustine grass, Zoysia grass, etc... It's best to keep warm season grasses between two and three inches high for the early spring and let it get a little longer as summer approaches. The longer the grass, the better the grass can retain moisture in the soil and shield itself from the sun’s harmful solar rays.

When your grass starts growing faster, you need to mow more often. You may find yourself mowing once a week as grass development quickens. You can control how fast your grass grows with the supplementation of Macro and micronutrients.


3. Growing Through Fertilization

If you want your grass to emerge from its winter dormant state with maximum development, fertilization in the spring is essential. This will set the president for the rest of the season, so we highly recommend you do not miss out on a Late March or early April fertilization.


Selecting Proper Fertilizer

We suggest that you take a soil test every year or two to see what nutrients your soil may be deficient in. Based on the results of a soil test, choose a fertilizer that will work best for your grass. Nutrient deficits found in soil tests might help you make fertilizer decisions. A balanced fertilizer that contains potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen works best. We suggest a slow-release fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content in the spring to really kick start some growth.

Application Tips

When the grass is completely dry, apply fertilizer, and then water right away to allow the nutrients to soak straight down into the soil. Remember, when working with fertilizers you must always use caution and follow the directions on the label. Over applying or underapplying may lead to unsatisfactory results. We always suggest consulting a professional lawn care company if you want to see the best results.

4. Watering

Water is essential for a healthy lawn, but too much irrigation can cause issues like disease and shallow root systems. It is important to keep your lawn on a consistent watering schedule. You can use your hose or a sprinkler system.

Effective Watering Methods

The best time to water your lawn is in the early morning because it minimizes water evaporation and reduces the chances of fungal growth. You should water your lawn with one inch of water at least one to two times per week, this includes rainfall. Watering your lawn with one inch of water per session promotes the establishment of deep roots, which strengthens grass's resistance to heat and drought.

5. Eliminate the Weeds

In the spring, weeds can get out of control! They can take over your yard in the blink of an eye if you aren't vigilant. If you take quick action, you can keep them from taking over your grass.


Pre-emergent and Post-emergent Solutions

Every year you should apply post-emergent herbicides to weeds that have already emerged. You should have applied a pre-emergent herbicide in the winter to stop weeds before they grow. Remember you should always use caution when handling these products. You must adhere to the manufacturer's directions to prevent harming yourself or your lawn. If you are ever in doubt, you should call a lawn care professional.


In summary

Spring lawn care in Metairie is about setting the foundation for a year of growth and beauty. By starting off strong with good mowing practices, proper fertilization, effective watering, and diligent weed control, you can ensure that your lawn remains a lush, inviting space all season long. The key to great lawn care is consistency and a little bit of love for the green under your feet! If you are in need of some advice or looking to hire a lawn care professional, call Cutting Edge Tree and Lawn.