The jury is out on what our lawns are going to look like following a particularly hot and brutal summer, followed by several deep winter freezes. As a man obsessed with his St. Augustine, it may be a rebuilding year.
1) Clear All Debris – Now that the roots (or what remains of them) no longer need insulation from the cold, they need as much ventilation and exposure to sunlight as possible. Some lawns form a thick thatch over the soil that especially needs to be raked or removed by a de-thatcher. Also, airflow helps prevent disease and rot.
2) Aerate – I have to admit I’ve never done this, but given the density of our North Texas soil, it only makes sense that compacted areas are hard for grass to take root. They sell those funny aerating shoes on Amazon, or if you value your time (and dignity) consider buying or renting a power aerator.
3) Seek & Destroy Crabgrass – Crabgrass is a scourge to any healthy lawn and can choke out the grass you want. Applying a pre-emergent in very early March is advisable.
4) Check Your Sprinkler System – It was a brutal summer (in case you somehow forgot) and the odds are you saw dead spots on your lawn. Have you planted any new landscaping plants that may be blocking your sprinkler heads? Run all zones and make sure you’re getting maximum coverage.
5) Hold off on Fertilizing – North Texas god king of herbology Neil Sperry recommends waiting until April 15th to get the most out of fertilizing your lawn. This doesn’t mean hold off on pre-emergent, weeds sprout early and often.