If your lawn looks as though its been baked and left to dry, peppered with brown spots of grass and ugly trees, you can thank winter. The good news is that with the summer months come more rain, which is a great nourishment for grass. However, just more rain water won’t be enough to undo the damage.
In addition, longer days means more sunlight exposure, which presents a bit of a conundrum. While sunlight is a good thing in general for your lawn, too much of it will cause scorching. Longer days also means more time your grass will be able to take in the sun’s rays, but here again, it comes at the risk of too much exposure. You’ll also see more pest activity, as those menacing little creatures begin to be problematic.
Beware those Homemade, Organic Lawn Remedies
Maintaining your lawn doesn’t have to be difficult, but all too often, we fall for the notion that organic and/or homemade remedies are the best. Pantry products, such as dish detergent, beer, soda, and vinegar might be easy to use, but, they aren’t necessarily the best solutions for your lawn. You can find a plethora of advice articles on how to treat your lawn and protect it with ordinary pantry products, but, these aren’t intended for these uses.
Freeze-thaw-freeze conditions are even worse for turf roots, which can become brittle and die. Road salt also is bad for lawns. The turf near streets and along driveways and paths may need resuscitation or replacement when spring grass should be greening up. —House Logic.com
For instance, boiling water to kill weeds sounds like a good idea, but, the reality is difference. If you manage to keep from scalding yourself, you’ll still have to perfectly target weeds without damaging other plants. What’s more, the time is takes is much longer than just selectively target herbicide spraying. Vinegar is often one home product that’s supposed to be a weed killer, but the kind that’s in your pantry contains only 5 percent acetic acid. To get the job done, it takes four times that amount, or, at least 20 percent acetic acid concentration. While you can use dish detergent to kill soft bodied pests, it doesn’t work on hard shelled insects, what’s more, it can also kill your plants.
Greening-up your lawn with beer and soda is another homemade solution, but, it comes at a steep cost. While soda and beer do contain carbohydrates and phosphorous, sunlight naturally produces carbs through photosynthesis. In addition, phosphorous is also naturally occurring, and, the cost of feeding your lawn with these drinks is much more expensive than using water.
Winter-Beaten Lawn Revival How-To
If you do have brown spots or most of your grass looks dead, there’s a quick way to tell if you can revive it or have to dig it up and start new. Grab brown grass in a clump and tug at it–the reaction will tell you all you need to know. If it doesn’t easily pull out of the ground, the roots are still viable. However, if it does pull out, that means the roots have failed and you need to start over. Here’s how you can revive a winter beaten lawn:
- Take-up any brown spots. Should your lawn be peppered with brown patches, cut those out with a hand spade (you can combine these together with other organic debris to create compost for feeding your garden later).
- Scatter grass seed about your lawn. You’ll obviously want to concentrate where its most damaged, but it should be spread evenly. Broadcast it with a walk behind feeder for the best results.
- Water daily after spreading seed. Grass seed needs water in order to germinate and grow. Water your lawn early in the morning when the dew is still present for 15 minutes per day. If the soil dries, the seed will not germinate, so, take advantage of the dew.
- Use high-phosphorus fertilizer. As the blades begin to grow, you should feed your lawn with a high-phosphorus fertilizer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions so you don’t accidentally cause damage.
When the grass reaches 3 inches in height, it’s then safe to mow.