Turf Maintenance and Spring Landscape Checklist
Spring is here! When the snow melts, and the sun shines its soft, bright light on our Pennsylvania landscapes, we want them to look their best! However, those green, manicured lawns and brightly colored planting beds require planning and nurturing. Burkholder offers some tips for turf and lawn care maintenance and a spring turf care checklist to get your spring and summer landscape off to a great start.
What is Turf Maintenance?
Turf maintenance encompasses all of the soil preparation, such as aeration, fertilization, seeding and watering that takes place to jumpstart a lush green lawn. Some aspects of turf maintenance include:
Soil Testing and Correction
One of the first steps to spring turf care is soil testing. A turf care professional would conduct a soil test to determine the pH level, nutrient content, and soil structure. This information helps to determine what type of fertilizer and soil amendments are needed to produce or maintain a healthy lawn.
After receiving the soil test results, your turf care expert would take steps to improve the soil quality. These include adding lime or sulfur to adjust the pH level, adding organic matter to improve soil structure, and applying the appropriate fertilizer.
Lawn seeding is the process of seeding bare ground. Overseeding is the process of adding seeds to sparse areas of lawn, or even to healthy lawns to thicken the existing grass. Soil or lawns that have been prepared by aeration will see the best results. Using quality grass seeds and fertilizer also optimizes positive growth.
Using the right type of grass seed is crucial for a healthy lawn. Various types of grass seeds are available, each suited for particular environments. For example, cool-season grasses are ideal for Pennsylvania residents because of our cold winters. When choosing grass seed, we consider sun exposure, soil type, and foot traffic. A turf care expert can help you choose the right seed for your lawn.
Aeration can be performed using two basic methods, spike or core aeration. Core aeration is more effective than spike aeration because the aerator pulls plugs of soil out of the lawn, allowing better water, fertilizer, and seed penetration. Annual aeration benefits your lawn’s overall well-being because compaction is reduced, and roots have more space to spread out. Grass seeds are also better protected from blowing or washing away when sheltered in the holes left by plugs.
Pre-Emergent Weed Control
Pre-emergent weed control should be essential to your spring turf care checklist. Rather than removing any weeds that pop up, this treatment helps prevent weeds from germinating and taking over your lawn in the first place. A landscaping professional would apply pre-emergent weed control early in the spring before the weeds have a chance to grow.
Another crucial part of any spring turf care checklist is ensuring your lawn receives proper watering. Water your lawn deeply and infrequently rather than shallowly and frequently. This promotes deep-root growth and helps to prevent disease.
A smart irrigation system can help ensure your yard is properly watered. If you have an irrigation system, ensure the heads are intact and set proper watering intervals. In addition, ensure that the sprinkler elements are free of overgrown plant life.
Lawn and Vegetation Control
The best lawns in the neighborhood are well-maintained lawns. Maintenance means keeping the grass mown, the beds weeded and trimmed, shrubs pruned, and seasonal flowers planted and fertilized. High quality timed-release fertilizers are best because they remain in the soil longer.
Choosing the right fertilizer for your lawn is important for healthy growth. Factors to consider when selecting a fertilizer include soil type, grass type, and nutrient deficiencies. High-quality timed-release fertilizers are best because they remain in the soil longer.
Also, apply fertilizer where needed for plants, trees, and shrubs. If someone applies too much fertilizer to their yard, they risk burning the grass and causing damage to the lawn.
Pest Control and Plant Health Care (PHC)
Plant life attracts pests. Plant health care includes treating or removing diseased plants as well as watching for and treating any pests that negatively impact your landscape. You will want to be sure that beneficial insects remain and that the products and methods used to care for your landscape are the right ones.
Spring Landscape Checklist
Now that you know a little more about turf maintenance, what do you need to do for your spring landscape to make sure your yard is on the “Best Looking Lawns” list when onlookers compare? Burkholder offers a checklist of general landscape and turf care actions to take.
- Make sure mowing equipment is in good shape to avoid damaging your grass or other plant life.
- Weed and remove dead or diseased plants and fallen leaves from your beds.
- Edge plant beds and walkways.
- Apply weed control and fertilizer where needed for plants, trees and shrubs.
- Add hard wood bark mulch to plant beds and around trees and shrubs.
- Dispose of grass clippings and shrub trimmings so that grass growth is unimpeded.
- Have trees and shrubs pruned and trimmed for safety and aesthetics.
- Clean and seal natural stone walkways and patios so they maintain their beauty and functionality.
Irrigation and Lighting
- Make sure that your irrigation system heads are intact and set proper watering intervals.
- Check that lighting fixtures are clean and that bulbs are all working.
- Ensure that all sprinkler and lighting elements are free of overgrown plant life.
Call Burkholder for Turf Maintenance and Seasonal Lawn Maintenance Care
We all want our lawns to be beautiful and well-maintained, but many homeowners lack time to cultivate the look they want. Professional maintenance with a spring turf care checklist is one way to ensure a beautiful landscape. Burkholder provides skilled and comprehensive grounds and turf maintenance for residents and business owners in the Main Line communities of Pennsylvania. For a consultation about the lawn care services you need, contact us today and get your lawn ready for summer!