Lawn Crew Tips/ Gainesville, Texas/Spring
#1 Mowing Extra low on first cut:, Once the weather warms up a bit, and you see the grass starting in the Gainesville, Texas area. now is the time to make your first cut of the lawn this year. If you have bermuda grass go ahead and cut the grass lower than at any other time of the year. If you have Saint Augustine, cut it just a little bit shorter than normal.
#2 Power Rake/ Dethatch: After you have cut and bagged the lawn, now is the time we want to remove all the dead grass that is suffocating the lawn. It is time to dethatch! Over the fall and winter, much of the grass and plant matter has broken down into the soil. This is good in the spring amounts, but when there is dead brown grass laying down on the grass and twisted in the grass roots, this is literally suffocating ,the grass. We have to get all this dead matter up to allow the lawn to breath. Power rake uses tines to aggravate the lawn and loosen dead material. Some good grass will be pulled up, but it is not much. The tines worked just hard enough to pull up grass that is dead and not secured to the lawn. Rake up all the dead grass that the power rake got out of the lawn and discard. There are several companies in the area that rent this type of equipment. You can rent this type of machinery by the day, or by the hour.
#3 Core Aeration: Next we need to loosen up the underlying soil. Think of power raking as surface loosening, and think of core aeration as sub surface loosening of the soil. A core aeration machine will pull plugs out of the ground. This allows air to get into the soil, and it also lets the roots of the existing grass stretch and grow. The roots can the grow because the soil is no longer compacted. Aeration is a vital par.t of any lawn care program and should be performed twice a year, spring and in fall. Be sure and mark all sprinkler heads in the lawn with little flags. You don’t want this machine going over a sprinkler head tearing up the irrigation system. Once the machine has done its job and pulled the plugs from the lawn, you can then leave these plugs on the lawn.
There is no need to rake them up as they will break up organically within a week or two.
#4 Top Dress: Now that we have mowed very low, got all the dead matter out of the lawn by dethatching, and have given the roots room to breath with core aeration, its time to give your lawn what it is really wanting and needs, great compost. Prepare a black tarp in the middle of your driveway or on your lawn, and have a load of compost delivered and placed on top of it. It is important to know that this has been sifted for weeds, and weed seeds. The last thing you want to do is add compost to your lawn that is infested with weed seeds! The best way to spread the dirt is the old fashioned way by hand. Get a pitchfork and broadcast the compost all around the yard. Theres no sugar coating this portion of the job, its simply hard. But the good is that you don’t have to go heavy on the thickness of this dirt. You know just enough to lightly cover the surface of your lawn. This is an important step in delivering nutrients to the lawn. Just remember, your lawn would much rather have quality alive soil over excessive nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium or other synthetic ingredients.
Step #5 Over seeding. This is where you put the icing on the cake. You have done all the hard prep work to prepare your lawn to be incredible. This is the easy part and where your lawn is going to fill in and shine. Order your lawn seed online in bulk. You will receive a much better price than going through a home improvement store and buying small bags. Spread the seed over the entire lawn by hand or using a broadcast spreader. The seed needs to be making contact with the dirt [This is why we mowed low, dethatched, aerated, and top dressed. You want contact with the dirt, not buried deep in the dirt. If the seed is buried to deep it will not germinate correctly. After the seed is then spread out around the entire lawn, take a rake and lightly and rake the seed very lightly. The goal here is to stir up the ground just a bit, so as to bury the seed just a bit but just mainly just make sure all the seed is getting good contact with the dirt, lightly water twice a day, using a fine mist to moisten the soil. Do not soak the soil, this will wash away your over seeding. Do not over seed before heavy rains are in the forecast. Check the weather or you will have all your seed washed away with one good rain if the seed has not germinated yet. Then make sure that there is no threat of a cold snap of frost bite. If the seed has not germinated yet, the it will be fine, but if the seed germinates and sprouts the frost will kill the tender plant. Do not apply weed control, pre emergent herbicide during the spring while the grass is trying to germinate. Applying a pre emergent herbicide will cause much of he seed to never be able to sprout
You now have the recipe for success of having a great lawn in the Gainesville, Texas area. Yes, it is quite a bit of work, but how bad do you want a great looking yard? It is very returning to see all the hard work pay off in a summer with a beautiful, thick,lush, and green lawn! Your neighbors will wonder why your grass is so much better than theirs, and you will be the envy of the neighborhood.