Whether you’re reseeding an old lawn or starting from scratch, it’s important to prepare your Charlotte, NC. planting site. A dense, lush lawn is worth the time and effort of springtime preparation.
6 Spring Lawn Prep Tips in the Carolinas
Spring is a great time for planting a new lawn in the Carolinas. From soil consistency to fertilizer, preparation is the key to healthy, dense grass.
Tip #1: Aerate if Reseeding Old or Dying Lawn
If you are renovating a damaged or dying lawn, you should aerate the soil before planting. A core aeration machine prevents soil compaction by removing cores of soil and thatch. Water and nutrients can then flow freely to the root area. You can either rent a core aerator or hire a lawn care professional to do the job.
Tip #2: Test Soil pH
Test the soil to find out if it’s too acidic or too alkaline. The correct pH level helps plants absorb nutrients from the soil. Grass tends to prefer a neutral pH of 6.0 to 7.5 on a scale of 0 to 14. You can buy a soil test kit at a garden center and check the pH yourself. If necessary, add sulfur to lower the pH or lime to increase the pH.
Tip #3: Remove Clumps and Rocks
For a successful lawn, the top 3 inches of soil should be free of clumps, rocks and roots. Before planting a completely new lawn, use a pointed shovel to dig out large rocks. With a rotary tiller, work out roots and clumps of soil.
Tip #4: Rake the Soil Smooth
Before seeding, make sure that the soil is level. Rake the soil until the surface is smooth and resembles pea-sized gravel. Now is the time to create contours for drainage, too.
Tip #5: Fertilize
Fertilizer gives grass the nutrients it needs for healthy growth. Look for starter fertilizer, which is high in phosphorus and promotes root growth in a new lawn. Use a rotary or drop spreader to apply the fertilizer uniformly. With a metal garden rake, work the fertilizer about 1 inch into the soil. Smooth the soil surface once more.
Tip #6 Plant Cool-Season Grass
Cool-season grasses such as tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass thrive in Charlotte, which is in planting zones 7b and 8a. You can plant cool-season grasses in early spring using the following methods:
• Seed: spread the seed in a criss-cross pattern, with half the seed in one direction and the rest of the seed in another direction. Rake a thin layer of soil over the seeds and cover with weed-free straw mulch. Roll and water the mulch to fix it in place.
• Sod: lay sod in moist soil that you have watered. After laying, roll the sod to improve contact with the soil. To promote drainage, you can aerate and overseed newly laid sod.
Enjoy Your New Lawn
Careful springtime preparation will give your new lawn a great start. While you’re enjoying your lawn this summer, you’ll be glad you followed these tips.