AMES, Iowa – Adam Thoms, Assistant Professor of Horticulture and Turgrass Extension at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, offers the following tips to get your lawn off to a good start this spring.

First, remove any twigs or debris from your lawn so they don’t get stuck in the mower or blunt the mower’s knife. If your grass is matted and has a fungus it is likely caused by gray snow. The large amounts of snow Iowans received during the winter months can cause this problem.

Thoms said the first step in reviving your lawn from the mold is to rake the grass until it stands up. Fertilizer and warm weather usually do the rest. It’s too late in the season to apply a fungicide.

A spring fertilizer is a great way to quickly green the garden. Typically apply three quarters of pounds per 1,000 square feet of nitrogen with a slow release fertilizer. The slow release helps prevent burns and other injuries to the lawn.

Last year’s persistent drought conditions can delay the release of your fertilizer and the lawn may take longer to grow. If you sown your lawn last fall, it will likely need to be re-sown this spring. The autumn drought may have dried out the seedlings.

If you sow this spring, avoid using a crab grass repellent. While this product is effective in preventing crab grass, it also prevents normal grass seeds from sprouting.

Once the lawn turns green and the ground is firm, it’s time to take the mower out. If your mower has yet to be serviced, consider the lawn mower service days offered by the Ag Systems Technology Club in the state of Iowa. The club offers push mower and riding mower options and can collect your mower from your home for an additional fee.

For more information on lawn care in spring, contact Thoms at 515-294-1957 or [email protected]