Spring lawn care will help you get the most out of your lawn, so you can enjoy a beautiful yard as the warm weather approaches. But it’s not always easy to know what to do. If you’ve properly aerated and seeded your lawn in the fall (and even if you haven’t), the following spring lawn care steps will carry you through to the peak of the season.
Learn when to fertilize lawns in the spring, how to maintain your mower, and the best way to handle spring weed control, so you can help your lawn stay lush and green all season long.
Rake Any Thatch
To begin, you can give your grass a deep raking to break up any thatch that has formed over the winter. This thatch can provide a place for snow mold to nestle, and you don’t want to give disease a foothold in your lawn.
Also use this time to clean up any dead material or leaves you may have missed in fall raking, for the same reason. Removing these will expose your lawn to much-needed sunshine and provide good airflow to discourage mold and other harmful creepy-crawlies.
Check Your Hoses
Next, give your hoses a once-over. Are they in good shape? Are the couplings, connectors, and attachments all clean and in working order? If any hoses need to be replaced, do it now, so that you’re prepared for your watering chores. You’ll need properly functioning hoses in place to complete the other parts of your early spring lawn care.
Now that the existing grass has been cleaned up, assess the soil so you know what you’re working with. Are there any bare patches that need overseeding? While most of your seeding will be done in the fall, take this opportunity to fill in any dead spots that need a little love. Luckily, you’ll have already prepared your hoses so you can water these spots now.
(The rest of your lawn likely won’t need watering for a little while yet.)
Also look to see whether the soil has been compacted, especially in high-traffic areas. Compacted soil makes it difficult for a healthy root system to grow and take up nutrients. Ideally, you’ll have completed your soil aerating in the fall, but if a couple trouble areas could use aeration, do it now. Be aware that weed seeds love it when you aerate in the spring, so don’t add any more weeds to your spring yard maintenance than you have to. If you are battling with spring weed control, hand-pulling is a great option, or you can use a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent seeds from sprouting.
When you should fertilize lawns in the spring depends a little on the condition of your lawn, and a lot on the weather. With luck, you’ll have already fertilized in the fall, but you may find it helpful to spread a slow-release, nitrogen fertilizer on the spots you’ve overseeded. Otherwise, wait until any warm-season varieties have woken up from their dormancy.
Service the Lawn Mower
Before you can first mow your lawn in the spring, you’ll want to give it a clean-up and a tune-up.
Begin by brushing off any old grass clippings and debris. Gently tilt the lawnmower (don’t turn it upside down) and remove any hardened grass from underneath. Check the blade: still sharp? Any nicks? Replace it if necessary so you get a good, clean cut when you fire up the mower.
Speaking of firing up the mower: give your gas-powered machine a tune-up before you put it back in service. Check the oil and filter. You may need to change the spark plug, in which case, disconnect the spark plug wire first.
For electric models, check the cord or battery to be sure it’s in good working order, and clear any vents that may have gotten clogged. (Consult your manual to see if there are other routine maintenance tasks that should also be addressed for your specific model.)
The First Mow
As to when to mow the lawn in the spring, you can generally begin once you’ve gotten a little growth. Wait until the grass is about two inches tall, so that it has had a chance to form a sturdy root system. Then you can mow, taking care not to take more than a short haircut – about one-third the total length.
With these spring lawn care tips, you should have a luxuriant, green lawn in the very near future. And as always, if you need any help, reach out to our team at Grass Master. We’re here to help you get the lawn you’ve always wanted.