Friday, April 1, 2011

Welcome April!


Welcome to April!
It certainly feels like it has been a long time arriving. This first day of April has brought along with it a blustery wind and beautiful sunny skies. The wind still has quite a bite to it, but the sunshine sure feels nice. I would imagine it won't be too long before we are complaining that it is too hot! 

Although the nighttime temperatures are still getting down into the not-so-sprinkler-friendly range, we aren't too far from being able to safely run sprinklers. Historically the nighttime temperatures tend to stay above freezing after April 15th. Of course, we live in the Midwest and anything is possible, but most years waiting until after tax day is a safe bet. 

What can you do in the two weekends in between? There is always something you can do for your yard. I will give you one easy on and one tough one for homework. The two best things you can do for your yard while the grass is still dormant are: 1) Give it a good raking and 2)  Get your mower blades professionally sharpened. 

Admittedly, raking is hard work, but one good raking a year is all your yard needs and spring is the prime time to take care of that. Raking removes any dead grass which prevents drainage and retards growth. Raking lets air into the crown of the plants and encourages the formation of new shoots. Besides the health benefits for your lawn think of all the great calorie burning and fresh air that benefit your own health!

One of the best things you can do for your lawn, besides a good spring raking, is to have good, sharp lawn mower blades. If you have did not have your lawn mower blades sharpened over the winter get out there and get it done before you need to mow. Dull blades have a tendency to rip grass blades instead of cutting cleanly, leaving grass susceptible to diseases. A good, sharp mower blade is a simple step to a healthier lawn.

When your lawn does require that first mow be sure not to cut it too short. Spring mow height should be around 2",  you should never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade at a time. This is particularly critical as the weather gets warmer. Much grass damage and disease can be prevented by proper mower height. When in doubt, raise the blade!

Enjoy the milder weather!

Keep it Green!