Don’t Panic, Spring is Coming

Everyone’s yards look terrible right now. After a harsh winter, with months and months of snow packed onto our yards, the grass looks awful. And in fact, the top layer of most yards right now is dead grass. But that’s just what’s on the top. Underneath that top layer, your grass is still dormant, waiting for the warmth and rains of springtime. Most of the grass will come back once the ground temperature begins to warm up. If you’re tempted to aerate, my advice is to wait. The freezing and thawing caused some natural aeration to occur.  So let the rains come and then see how your grass looks. If you need to overseed, the best time will be later into the spring.  At that point, you’ll want to aerate and overseed your whole yard, which will give you a more even look with different types of grass seed. Don’t seed yet. The ground is too cold for the seed to germinate, and you’ll just wind up wasting that seed.  Wait until the ground temps (not air temps) reach at least 55 degrees.  A good indicator of ground temps is to watch the lilacs.  Lilac bloom when the ground temp reaches about 52 degrees. And if your neighbor’s yard starts to green up before yours, again, don’t panic. Different types of grasses green up at different rates. My own yard is always the last one to turn green. If your neighbor’s yard is already green, yours can’t be more than a week or two behind. If you used lots of ice melt this winter, like most of us did, you might want to rake some of that off of your lawn. But it won’t cause too much damage if you leave it. You might see some winterkill, which will be fixed in your spring aeration and overseeding. If you do rake out your yard, it will actually look worse at first but will look great once the weather warms up. Keep in mind that the trees haven’t even budded out yet, so we know spring is still a few weeks away. Be patient, and let nature do her work before you begin to worry.

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