22 Mar Prep Your Lawn for Summer
In Southern Arizona, maintaining a green and beautiful lawn on your property’s landscape takes year-round work and dedication. The month of March, especially during years like this one where temperatures have already risen into the 90s, can be a crucial period in the life cycle of your lawn this year. Take the steps outlined below this spring to ensure that your lawn grows beautifully this summer.
Mow Closer to the Ground
Today’s lawnmowers often have multiple settings that allow you to trim the grass to varying lengths. In the summertime, you don’t want to crop the blades of grass too short, as this can cause the top layer of soil to dry out and burn. In the springtime, however, you can safely mow close to the ground, especially if you have winter ryegrass growing, because shorter grass blades promote better airflow which will allow your dormant Bermuda grass to start growing.
Dethatch and Aerate
If your lawn is composed principally of ryegrass, you probably don’t need to dethatch it. If, however, it is composed of Bermuda grass, spring is the perfect time to dethatch and aerate your lawn. Clearing away this layer of dead plant matter allows more air circulate around the roots, and also allows your lawn to absorb moisture more quickly when you water it, which is an important consideration in the dry desert climate of Tucson.
Fertilize and Water
Spring fertilization is key to promoting full growth, since it gives your lawn’s roots the food they need to grow large and strong, which in turn allows them to stretch further and absorb more moisture during the hot summer when they need it most. This time of year, you can begin to water earlier in the morning, when less of the moisture will evaporate, because there is no longer any risk of frost overnight.
What Type of Fertilizer Is Best For My Lawn?
Depending on the variety of grass planted on your grounds, your landscape professionals may need to choose between several different varieties of fertilizer to keep your lawn healthy. Time-release fertilizers continue to release nitrogen and nutrients over a period of several months, making them ideal for supporting growth well into the early summer, though lawns that sustained damage may require quick-release fertilizer to help them heal.
When Should I Use Herbicide?
If you have recurring problems with crabgrass on your lawn, use fertilizer that has a pre-emergent herbicide in your spring application. This will prevent the seeds from sprouting. Taking this preventative step in the early spring can save your lawn from weed removal treatments in the late spring and summer. Most pre-emergents last for 6 month, so it is important to follow directions and not use pre-emergent too close to late September if you plan to over seed your winter Rye for the winter.
Do I Need to Worry About Lawn Fungus?
In cooler climates, professionals often caution property owners against over-fertilizing in the early springtime, because grass that grows too quickly is susceptible to lawn fungus during heavy spring rains. However, here in warm, dry Tucson where temperatures have already reached 90ºF and there is little to no precipitation before the monsoon season in late summer, lawn fungus is not a major concern, and early fertilization can help your lawn thrive. It is best to water during daylight hours in the early morning to allow your lawn to dry out during the day to prevent fungus.
To keep your lawn healthy, you can hire the professional services of Santa Rita Landscaping. Our owners have a total of over 75 years’ worth of experience maintaining commercial landscapes in Tucson, so you can rest assured that your home or commercial property’s lawn is in expert hands. Call us today at (520) 623-0421 to learn more about our services.