The preparation you do NOW — in the early spring – is essential to enjoying a soft, lush, weed-free green grass all summer. The steps are simple, inexpensive, and not too time consuming!
A lawn aerator is a roller with spikes on it that “pokes holes” in your turf. Aerating helps water soak in, breaks up thatch that blocks water, and enhances absorption of fertilizer. Aeration is done when the soil is thawed. Consider watering before you aerate – it makes the job easier! You can rent an aerator or hire a professional to do this for you.
The Colorado State Extension turf specialists recommend fertilizers that “contain a mixture of quickly and slowly available nitrogen sources.” These type products are readily available at your favorite garden center. Water is necessary to release the nutrients into your lawn, but it’s OK to fertilize even before irrigation is allowed in your neighborhood or before we’re (hopefully!) getting regular spring showers.
Pre-emergents stop weeds from growing before they start, but can also kill or reduce sprouting of any grass seed you put down. So, either use preemergents only in areas where you are not overseeding your lawn, or strictly follow the package directions on the preemergent regarding how long you must wait before seeding in the controlled areas. Make sure you water well immediately after you use any preemergent.
Now is a great time to overseed your lawn, especially if it is thinned out because of lack of water, or due to disease or insect damage. Seeding done at the same time that you aerate and fertilize is especially effective. Your grass seeds need extra water to germinate so you may want to run a sprinkler periodically while new growth is getting established.
Always water in accordance with the regulations that are set by your community. If you have an irrigation system, refresh yourself on how it works and check your sprinkler heads to make sure that they are working properly. Call an irrigation company if you don’t have the time or inclination to do repairs yourself. Make sure your watering system is working properly at the beginning of the season and you can rest easy all summer!