Easy Tips On Early Spring Lawn Care

Karin Carr, Owner
Published on March 2, 2022

It’s lovely to spend time in the garden in the spring. Birds chirping, flowers blooming, and the gentle, glittering light makes the world appear new and fresh. But, after admiring the first daffodils of the season, it’s time to start caring for your grass in preparation for a season of lush growth.

The early days of late winter and early spring do not seem like the best time to get out and begin lawn care, but a little early spring lawn care might mean the difference between such a lush summer lawn and a brown one.

Take advantage while you are free and have some time for early spring lawn care.

Here’s what you’ll need to get your lawn ready for spring

  • Leaf rake
  • Metal rake or dethatcher
  • Pre-emergent crabgrass herbicide
  • Rotary spreader
  • Fertilizer
  • Fertilizer spreader
  • Grass seed
  • Lawnmower
Easy Tips On Early Spring Lawn Care - Karin Carr
  1. Get the lawn ready for the spring season by raking up winter debris, such as branches, pine needles, and leaves. Raking may also remove some of the thatch layers, allowing your lawn to ‘breath’ better and more readily absorb water. Good grass is resistant to weeds, but a few stray weeds are unavoidable. It takes only a few minutes to dig out dandelions or pluck chickweed from the grass. 
  2. Check for the lawn for how much thatch is left. This is leaf and stems debris that builds up between the grass blades and the soil. A small amount of thatch — 1/2 inch or less — is fine. Remove excess thatch with a thatch rake, allowing 1/2 inch to remain. 
  3. Apply a pre-emergent crabgrass control product. Crabgrass seeds germinate in the spring as the soil begins to warm. The best way to apply the pre-emergent herbicide granules is with a rotary spreader, scattering it as you walk across the lawn. Water the lawn to a depth of 6 inches after application. If manual weeding is not a possibility, seek an organic herbicide that is suitable. Bring a weed to your local garden center and get help from the pros. Only use the organic pesticide indicated in places where weeds are an issue. Make sure to follow the label instructions because more isn’t always better.
  4. Lawn fertilizers are piled up on the shelves of garden stores. However, regardless of the type of grass you cultivate, spring is not the best time to fertilize. Fertilizing your lawn in the early spring encourages fast growth, which means you’ll have to mow it sooner and much more frequently. Weeds benefit from it as well.
  5. After a lawn has been cleared, top-dressing—applying a tiny quantity of topsoil to areas of the garden with weak, sparse vegetation that have suffered winter damage—provides a clean slate for new grass to grow in. Seeding can occur today in locations that are unlikely to get a last deep frost. Residents in colder climates should check the forecast to ensure that another freeze isn’t on the way before seeding the entire grass. When sowing occurs, regions with top-dressing should be given special care.

If you’ve applied a pre-emergent weed killer, you’ll need to wait the amount of time recommended on the weed killer’s label before over-seeding.

  1. Finally, mow the lawn to a height of 4 inches.

Now your lawn is ready for whatever spring and summer throw at it.

Even though you may do without thinking about your lawn over the winter, April is the time to start planning. But, again, it is preferable to identify issues immediately rather than cope with the implications later.

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