Spring is finally here, and if your lawn is looking a little worse for wear after a long winter, it might be time for some TLC. “Turf renovation is not a bad idea in spring,” says Dean Freil, lawn and garden manager at Ace Hardware and Rental, in Dixon, Illinois. “There are different things you can do.” One is aeration. If your lawn has a compaction problem, or if it’s clay or an older lawn that hasn’t gotten much attention over the years, aerating can help. It involves making small holes in the turf so that air, water and nutrients can make their way to the roots, helping them to take better hold, giving you a greener, better looking lawn. “There are a variety of ways to aerate,” Freil says. “We rent a walk-behind aerator that is self-propelled and pops plugs out.” If you have a larger lawn, Ace also rents a larger version that pulls behind your lawn tractor.
Apply fertilizer after aerating. “If crabgrass is a problem, late March or early April is the time to apply fertilizer with crabgrass preventer in it,” says Freil. “If you don’t have a crabgrass problem put down general fertilizer to help with the root system and nitrogen content.”
For a rough, bumpy yard, a roller can roll out the unevenness. Freil suggests doing so when the ground is fairly damp, to make the job easier. Ace rents gas-powered walk-behind rollers and larger, pull-behind rollers.
“If you have sparse areas you might want to overseed,” Freil says, adding that now is the time to do that. Patch kits are available prepackaged with seed and fertilizer blended.
“If any areas in your lawn look fairly dead after winter, try raking the brown spots with a leaf rake and water it,” says Freil. “Sometimes moisture and sunshine is all it takes. You don’t necessarily need to tear up the whole yard.”
Ace Hardware & Rental 900 North Galena Avenue Dixon, IL 61021 815.288.7841 www.acerentalplacedixon.com