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Is Your Lawn Ready for Spring?

By Ruth S. Foster
3/19/2014 11:08:22 AM

One day, we awakened and the snow was finally off the lawn and the terrace. It seems to have been, the longest, coldest, white winter in memory, but spring has come.

Here are 5 things you can do to prepare your lawn for spring:

Credit: Flickr/Kevin Dooley

1. The good thing is that the perennials were all protected with their blanket of white stuff and won't have much winterkill. The bad thing is that the temperature fluctuations, bitter cold, then warmth, then cold, will produce lots of winter burn on the exposed parts of plants and trees.

2. About winter burn. Leaves turn brown or black and die, particularly rhododendrons and other evergreens. What to do? Just wait and see how things evolve. Don't jump the gun with pruning until the plants have a chance to decide what's been burned. When plants are under stress, and when the winter has been longer than usual, they will be slow to leaf out and to brown.

As the temperatures warm, the buds will swell as usual and begin to open. Some will succeed, others will shrivel up and die. Again, be patient before pruning what looks sickly until late April and into May. However now, one can tidy up winter damage, and also prune for shape and size.

3. The lawn has been protected under the snow all winter, and, unfortunately so has the mold fungi that attacks it later in the season. It is recommended that the first mowing's grass clippings should be caught and thrown out to remove some of the fungus. However, don't rake your lawn in spring when the new roots are just beginning to grow.

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