7 Things to Do in Spring for a Healthy Lawn

To create a thriving, beautiful lawn, you need to hit the ground running in the spring. Add these 7 important tasks to your spring to-do list, and you’ll have a lush, thick carpet of green come summer.

At the tail end of the winter season, homeowners face the sometimes daunting but always exciting prospect of readying the lawn for the warmer months ahead. From cleaning to mowing to seeding, proper spring lawn care encompasses a range of responsibilities. All are important. Remember that cutting corners now could mean that at the peak of summer, you’ll be spending your weekends making up for spring lawn care oversights. In other words, it’s in your best interest to act now. Stay on top of the game to ensure healthy and beautiful grass that demands no more of your time than is strictly necessary.

1. Dethatching

Spring Lawn Care - Dethatching 

Dead grass and lawn clippings accumulate and get matted down into thatch, which not only prevents the germination of new grass seed but also promotes fungus growth and pest infestation. Dethatch the lawn by giving it a good once-over, using either a lawn rake with stiff tines or a special dethatching rake.

2. Soil testing

Spring Lawn Care - Soil Testing

 

To grow grass successfully, you need the right soil. Most varieties thrive in conditions that are neither acidic nor alkaline. Methods exist to raise or lower soil pH, but you’ve got to know what you’re dealing with. Purchase a soil test kit for around $10 from your neighborhood garden store, or send a soil sample to your local extension office.

3. Yard cleanup

Spring Lawn Care - Cleanup

4. Aeration

Spring Lawn Care - Aeration 

In high-traffic areas, the soil beneath grass gradually becomes compacted and inhospitable to grassroots. Aeration reverses the damage done. Here, using a specialized tool wine cork-size plugs are drawn out of the lawn surface, giving the roots room to spread and allowing air, nutrients, and moisture to penetrate the soil.

5. Weed Treatment

Spring Lawn Care - Preemergent
Weed control ranks high among spring lawn-care priorities: If you don’t act against weeds now before they emerge, you’ll spend the summer battling them—and it’s not a fight you’re liable to win. Prevent weeds from even sprouting by applying a pre-emergent herbicide or explore alternative treatments free of harmful chemicals.

6. Seeding

Spring Lawn Care - Seeding
On any bare patches of ground, skip the herbicide and opt instead for grass seed. Be aware, however, that if you’re planting grass in the spring, it’s going to need lots of TLC during the hot summer months—that is, consistent watering and regular weeding—and you’ll most likely have to seed again in the fall.

7. Equipment Maintenance

Spring Lawn Care - Equipment
Before the lawn season gets into full swing, inspect all your outdoor tools, including the mower. If necessary, take the machine in for service or give it a tune-up yourself: change the oil, install new spark plugs, and replace the air filter. Also, make sure to have fuel on hand in preparation for the first grass-cutting of the year.
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