How does your lawn look? Like it just went 15 rounds with the champ? That’s to be expected after this past winter so don’t be too concerned. Now that temperatures are warming up and it isn’t raining every second day our lawns are slowly coming around. I have even seen a few tufts of green showing up on my lawn!
My spring training regime for the lawn always starts with a good raking with a fan rake. Up comes dead stems, half-rotted leaves and any other winter debris that has been sitting under the snow. This can be done any time after the soil has dried out to the point where it doesn’t feel ‘squishy’ to walk on the lawn. Once the raking is done it’s time to apply some fertilizer.
There’s not much point in putting spring lawn fertilizer down until the grass begins to green up on its own. Fertilizing before there is any sign of growth isn’t going to make the lawn get greener faster! That process is all about temperature and once it’s warm enough you’ll notice the difference almost daily. Once you see green apply a fertilizer specifically for spring like GardenWorks 14-4-8.
Your raking may expose some bare spots in the lawn. Don’t be in a rush to put new seed down for a couple of reasons. One is that it’s early and you will likely see green shoots coming from unseen roots once the sun hits that spot on a regular basis. Keep an eye on those areas and wait to see if they fill in to your satisfaction. Secondly, the soil will still be too cold for good germination. In the Okanagan mid-April is a prime time to seed a lawn; before that and you will be feeding the quail with a very expensive seed!
No dandelions blooming yet but they’ll be along momentarily we’re sure. I’m not a huge fan of them in the lawn but I’m also not in favour of blasting them with herbicide. There is something very cathartic about kneeling in the lawn with a dandelion fork or large flat screwdriver and popping dandelion roots up. If kneeling isn’t your thing dandelion pullers do a great job while allowing you to stay upright. And dandelion blooms are an early source of food for bees and other pollinators. So don’t worry about getting them all out of the lawn. That’s a battle not likely to be won any time soon.