Spring in Calgary can come as early as March or sometimes not until late May. The rule of thumb is to wait for the frost to come out of the ground and for it to dry before attempting any cleanup. The exception to this rule would be when snow mould might be present. It is imperative that you rake any area with mould as soon as possible so the lawn is not affected. When cleaning this area up, be sure to wear appropriate gloves and masks as mould is dangerous. If you have an area piled up with snow and it is slow to melt, you should spread the snow around to help prevent any ice buildup which can cause winter kill.
Remove the Dead Grass
Once the lawn is dry, rake up and remove the dead grass. This can be done by hand although it can be a daunting task. Alternately you can have your lawn professionally power raked. The advantage here is that the power raking will remove more dead grass than your hand raking would do.
This is also a good time to aerate your lawn if you haven’t already had it done in the fall. The advantage of doing both power raking and aeration together is that aerating can be done first and this way the power raking will break up the plugs leaving a clean finish. After aerating and power raking, a short mowing will help pick up any remaining grass. Your lawn will look well-groomed.
Fertilize Your Lawn
It is important to fertilize your lawn in the spring to provide the nourishment your lawn needs to start growing and to begin greening up. Once you’ve completed these start-up chores, you should get on a regular watering schedule to ensure your lawn can take advantage of all your hard work. Water your lawn on average twice a week (depending on temperature and rainfall). Watering your lawn for about 1 hour or 1.5 – 2 inches ensures the water reaches the roots and is not evaporating. This will also encourage the roots to stay deep and protected from heat and drought.
Once your initial spring work is complete, it is important to set your mower cutting height to 2.5 inches for the remainder of the season. Keeping your lawn a bit longer will help to insulate against drought and keep its beautiful lush green colour.