The winter season may blanket the yards of our homes with picturesque snow, but it can leave many Long Island lawns looking downright abysmal when the seasons start to change. Even though spring is still months away, there’s no time like the present to start learning how to make that lawn lush again.
Whether a homeowner goes with a lawn-care company or not, “it’s up to the homeowner to be sure they’re holding up their end of the bargain,” says Ted Kramer, owner of the Deer Park Lawn Doctor. “Watering properly, cutting lawns at the proper height, preventing animal damage and urination, and other variables.”
Since Long Island’s soil is mostly indistinguishable across Long Island, you’re going to want to skip any soil testing and go straight to fighting crabgrass, which can steal nutrients from the soil, Residents should speak to their local landscapers about the condition of their lawn and how to control the crabgrass. “That’s the first kind of layer, or application, that you want to do at the beginning of the season,” Kramer says.
When summer rolls around, consider fertilizing your lawn through a company or in a DIY. Then it’s time to lay down weed-control—a process that is rarely a one-and-done.
“Weeds are very, very stubborn,” Kramer says. “That’s an uphill battle that clients face, we face. It does take time, and unfortunately there’s no magic potion to get rid of weeds.”
Kramer, who has owned the Deer Park franchise for more than 15 years, stresses that lawn maintenance is a “year-round effort.” The final steps in the annual process are to fertilize the lawn in the fall and winter seasons.
As for reviving your lawn with new growth and pondering when to seed your lawn, you may have missed the optimal moment for the coming season. Kramer says fall is best. It’s a misconception that spring is the best time to seed.
“In the spring, you’re sometimes battling Mother Nature and the heat,” he says. “Each year is different, but you want to seed your lawn when it’s not too hot”
One thing Kramer says he tries to stress is proper watering and mowing height—the two things that will keep a lawn looking stellar year-round. One of the worst things a homeowner can do is cut their grass very short during the hotter months.
“That’s like if a bald man went to the beach in the summer and he didn’t put any suntan lotion on his head,” he says with a chuckle. “Same with the lawn. In the hotter months, you want to have as much grass on your lawn as possible to protect the roots.”
And here in the cooler months, you want to have as much planning and preparation done as possible.