Towards the end of the winter season, homeowners face the sometimes daunting yet always exciting prospect of readying their lawn for the warmer months ahead. As with most landscape projects, success is dependent on a head start before the growing season is in full swing. From cleaning to mowing to seeding—proper spring lawn care encompasses a wide range of responsibilities. To stay on top of the game, we’ve provided some simples steps you can take to prepare your lawn for spring and ensure a lush lawn all summer.
Winter can make a real mess of your yard, so get ahead of the game by cleaning up all the debris scattered across the yard. This includes twigs, acorns, stones, branches, litter, and dead leaves. Use a leaf rake to gather debris in piles, then rake those piles onto a large tarp. From here, you can carry the debris off the lawn and into the trash. Just make sure to wait until the ground dries before cleaning up your yard—tromping around on a soggy lawn can compact the soil and damage tender grass shoots.
Thwart Weed Growth
Prevent weeds from taking over your lawn this summer by applying a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring. Kind of like lawn antibiotics, this is a way to feed your lawn. This type of weed controller is formulated to prevent weed seeds from germinating, which can reduce the amount of crabgrass, dandelions, and other weeds from forming in your lawn.
Most pre-emergent herbicides are sufficient for an average of three months, so you’ll likely need to reapply again during the summer. Whether you live in the north or south, both cold and warmer seasons can benefit from a springtime application of a pre-emergent weed controller.
What you treat your lawn with is very important. Get your lawn off on a healthy start by applying fertilizer in the spring. For the best results, we recommend using a sole-release fertilizer. It is packed with vital nutrients that break down over an extended period of time so you won’t have to continuously reapply fertilizer. In most cases, you can wait six to eight weeks between applications.
Fill in Bare Spots
Sometimes after a long winter, your lawn can begin undergoing bare or bald spots. You can treat these areas with grass seed during the spring to ensure that they are full and healthy by the time summer comes around. Start by scratching and loosening the soil with a garden rake, then broadcast an even layer of seeds over the area. Begin lightly raking the seeds into the ground, water well, and loosely cover with hay to discourage birds and other animals from foraging the seeds. You should begin to see grass sprouting in two or three weeks, depending on the weather.
Be sure your lawnmower and other outdoor equipment are ready for summer grass-cutting season by performing an early-spring tune-up. Tune-ups typically include replacing the spark plug, changing the oil, greasing the fittings, installing a new air filter, and sharpening your blades. You may also want to consider having extra fuel on hand in preparation for the first grass cut of the year.