Spring Turf Tips by PJC Ecological Lawn Care

With the start of a new growing season there is always a list of tasks to be done. With record breaking snow this winter there is likely to be plow damage, compaction from snow piles and high salt indexes along walks and roadways – not to mention tree and shrub damage, snow mold, red thread and clover.

PJC is our Organics Provider and has provided a few things to consider as you begin your season:

  • Snow piles – where snow was stockpiled soil compaction has likely occurred. Without remediation these areas promote the growth of weeds with short fibrous root systems like plantain or crabgrass. To relieve compaction without disturbing the soil, we recommend using a humate product, top-dressing with pelleted vermicompost or application of compost tea
  • Salt Index – the application of snow melt materials along walks and driveways is difficult on turf. Gypsum applied to these areas will help neutralize the effects of salt and improve soil conditions.
  • Plow Damage & Bare Soil – Top dress with loam/compost mix and seed using a quick germinating grass seed such as perennial ryegrass to help combat weed pressure. Kentucky bluegrass is seldom successful in salty areas.
  • Thatch or dead grass? Over the winter grass naturally dies back and goes dormant. Do not be quick to rake. Aggressive raking can damage crowns of dormant grass, remove valuable organic matter, and create a thin lawn allowing crab grass to take hold later in the season.
  • Tree & Shrub Damage – has been heavy this winter. As soon as possible you will want to prune back damaged limbs and shrubs. If not these areas will likely be the site of disease and pests later in the season.
  • Bed clean-up – get the leaves out of perennial beds before the plants pop through them. If your perennials have started to pop use care to not damage their crowns.Soil Test – to determine soil amendment needs. Fertilize – with Renaissance Organic Fertilizer once soil temps reach 50˚