Early Spring Lawn Care

Bradford Greenhouses Blog

With the snow finally receding it’s time to start thinking about your lawn again. You might think it’s too early to get your lawn prepped for another growing season, but there are a few things you can do now to get your lawn ready, and prevent problems this year.

Weed & Feed

Corn gluten is a great product you can use on your lawns right now. Not only does it provide your lawn with a shot of nitrogen to help it get going, but it also has an interesting property: corn gluten can inhibit seeds from germinating. This can be especially helpful in combating crabgrass, dandelion and other weeds that like to invade our lawns. When applied, corn gluten will prevent seeds from forming roots, killing the plant before it has a chance to start. It can be beneficial to apply corn gluten to lawns a few times through the growing season. An application in spring (from mid April to mid May) will help control new crab grass and dandelions from sprouting. One application of corn gluten will supress weeds from germinating for 4-6 weeks.

Corn gluten can be applied to your lawn with a hand spreader for smaller areas, or a rotary spreader for larger lawns. Apply it in a criss-cross pattern at half strength in each direction. It’s a good idea to apply it a day or two before rain is in the forecast.

Corn gluten can be very effective in inhibiting new weed infestations, however it will not affect existing perennial weeds remaining in your lawn from previous years. For existing weeds it’s best to hand pull them, or spot treat with herbicide.

Corn gluten can also be used in your flower beds as well to help control weeds; however do not use it if you are trying to start anything from seed. Do not apply corn gluten to a newly seeded lawn, as it will prevent the germination of grass seed as well.

Spring & Summer Lawn Fertilizer

If you are using corn gluten, your lawn will also benefit from a dose of fertilizer 2 weeks after application of the corn gluten (it’s best not to fertilize with a nitrogen fertilizer at the same time as corn gluten, as too much nitrogen at once will burn your lawn). Our Garden Gallery Spring and Summer fertilizer (22-4-10) is a great, slow release formula that’ll help your lawn grow lush and green. You can start using our spring and summer fertilizer right from when the snow melts, and you can reapply it every 8-10weeks throughout the growing season. For best results, water after application of this fertilizer.

General Lawn Care Tips:
  • Water an established lawn (newly laid sod and newly seeded lawns will require more water) at a rate of one inch of water per week, applied all at a single watering. By giving the lawn a single thorough soaking, the water is allowed to permeate the soil deeply, which encourages your lawn to grow long, deep roots. A lawn that is watered frequently, but not thoroughly will produce shallow roots, which are much less able to cope with the hot and dry portions of our summers.
  • Keep in mind, a healthy, established lawn can survive several weeks of dormancy with little or no water in the summer time. Although your lawn will not be looking its best through this dormancy, it can be a good way to save water in the hottest/driest parts of the summer, and when the cooler, wetter weather returns, your lawn will bounce back.
  • Never mow your lawn shorter than 2 inches. Allowing your lawn to grow a bit taller is beneficial in a few ways; it encourages deep rooting, prevents evaporation of water from the soil and taller, thicker lawns will shade the soil and prevent weeds from germinating.
  • When applying any chemical fertilizer or herbicide, always read and follow the product labels, wear protective clothing and wash your hands and face after handling.

Follow these steps, and you will be well on your way to a beautiful, lush lawn this season!