If you're like most gardeners, you can't wait for spring. You want the drab brown to go away. You're ready for life to spring forward in your gardens. You're ready to shed the winter coats.
Here are our top 6 early spring lawn care tips, tasks and things you can do before the trees start budding and the perennials start popping out of the ground.
Getting outside and doing these few things will be food for the winter soul and if you're like us, will help fill your craving for being outside.
Top 6 Spring Lawn Care Tips Help Your Lawn Grow Green And Healthy
Although the tips below are meant to be done in early spring, some of them can be done anytime during the winter.
However, you'll most likely want to do them as the weather starts to warm a bit and the grass starts to turn from brown to hints of green - not growing yet, but thinking about it.
Tip #1: Get Your Mowing Equipment Repaired
It's very important that your mowing equipment is ready to go when the grass is ready to be cut. As we mentioned elsewhere on this site, not doing this ahead of time could mean trouble.
If your grass is long and needs cutting, but your mowing isn't starting, you might be in for a rude awaking when you take it to your repair shop to get it repaired. The lead time could be weeks!
This is because everyone seems to wait until the last minute to try to start their mowers. Take this advice to heart. We know from experience that this happens. This is one spring gardening tip you don't want to skip because you don't have the time.
Do you really want to go for a few weeks with long grass that's getting longer by the day? We think not.
Of course, not only does this apply to your mower, but your line trimmer and blower as well. Although these tools aren't quite as important, why not get them checked at the same time as your mower? It only makes sense.
Tip #2: Check Your Hoses And Sprinklers
Although not a critical task, checking your watering tools it's still a good thing to do, and what better time than before spring hits and other chores will be demanding your time.
The question is... "Did you drain and store your hoses and sprinklers out of the weather for the winter?" If not, they might be damaged by the freezing and thawing temperatures.
Yes, spring usually means cooler temperatures so watering may not be in the forefront of your mind. However, making sure that your hoses as sprinklers are working now is a good thing to do in early spring, before you need them and you're busy doing other things.
Be prepared! Isn't that the boy scout's motto? It's a good one, we say.
Tip #3: Rake And Dethatch Your Lawn
Winter takes it toll on the grass. Between wind, rain and snow, and the fact that the grass is dormant, means your lawn looks battered and bruised. You can remedy this by raking and dethatching your lawn.
This is best done just as the grass has a hint of green.
Now, when we say dethatching, do you know what that is?
Dethatching your lawn is the process of removing "thatch," which is the dead grass clippings. This is an important spring gardening task because the thicker the thatch, the harder it will be for the grass to grow and spread out.
The ACTUALLY process of dethatching requires specialize tools for accomplishing the job. Here, we're not talking about going to this extent. What we ARE talking about is a light dethatching.
Taking your leaf rake, rake over the lawn in forceful, short strokes, being sure to cover the entire lawn area. This will accomplish 3 things:
- You'll be pulling up some of the dead grass clippings
- You'll be raking up any debris that might have fallen in the lawn over the winter - tree limbs, twigs, leaves, and other debris.
- You'll be getting the grass blades to stand up after being matted down during winter rains and snows when it's been dormant.
You'll be amazed at the difference in your lawn's appearance after doing this one simple task. This is one of our spring gardening tips that will make the most difference in the appearance of your lawn. You'll notice the difference and will want to do it every year.
Tip #4: Pull Weeds Now Before They Go To Seed
Believe it or not, you can actually start pulling weeds now, before anything start's to grow.
True, there will be other weeds that will spring up unexpectedly and quickly grow too but for now, why not pull the ones that are left over from last year?
It's especially important to keep up with weeds in your lawn because if you're busy later and don't have the time, they could go to seed and once this happens, it will be almost impossible to keep them in check. At the very least, it will require more work on your part.
Of course this is something that should be done all year, but pullling left over weeds now is not a bad idea
In the above image is one of the most prolific spring weeds gone to seed. The dandelion. As a child did you used to pick these marvels and blow on them until the snowball puffs blew off into the air?
I'm sure you know now that you were spreading dandelion seeds everywhere.
This is one of the most obvious weed seeding examples but many of them are not quite so obvious.
Always try to keep ahead of weeds for this reason.
Tip #5: Repair Bare Spots In Your Lawn
Early spring is an excellent time to repair bare spots in your lawn. This is even more important if you've pulled clumps of weeds and are left with bare spots.
If you don't get grass to grow in those spots, do you know what will happen? Weeds will take over.
The process is the same for spreading grass seed because, actually, that's what you'll be doing. The process is called overseeding because you'll be spreading grass seed over existing turf but it also the bare spots.
You'll want to take a steel rake, or even your leaf rake, and scratch up the surface of the soil so the seed has loose soil in which to take root. It's also a good idea to sprinkle some top soil over the bare spots as well which helps the grass take root even more.
PRO TIP: Don't throw grass seed over hard ground. Like any other plant seed, it needs to get down into the soil and root. Although it doesn't have to be as deep, it still needs to be under the soil.
Next, sprinkle a liberal amount of seed over the loose soil. Then, turning the rake over using it's back, brush over the loose soil to spread the seed out and cover as much of it as possible.
You could also cover these spots with straw, which will help the soil stay moist which will then help the grass to grow.
Honestly, we don't usually use straw for overseeding bares spots. It's an extra step that doesn't hurt, but it not absolutely necessary.
Do you need to water? Well, maybe.
Grass seed needs water to grow. However, in our planting zone and many others, spring is usually wetter than summer, with frequent rains. Because of this, and because of cooler temperatures which keep the ground from drying out too fast, you might not need to water at all.
We generally don't water grass seed applied in spring. However, if it's an exceptionally dry season, you might need to.
Tip #6: Fertilize And Apply A Pre Emergent
Another spring gardening tip is one that is often times skipped by those that are too busy - and that is fertilizing the lawn and applying a pre emergent.
The fertilizer will give the grass a boost and green it up once it starts growing and the pre emergent will help prevent weed seeds from germanting, exactly at the ideal time when they want to start growing.
One of the most invasive weeds, and one the pre emergent will do well against is crabgrass.
Trust us. If you skip this step, there's a good chance crabgrass will start invading your lawn, especially in bare spots and will be very time consuming to eliminate.
See this article for more information on fertilizing your lawn.
Early Spring Lawn Care Tips - Boosting Your Lawn's Growth
As part of your overall landscape, you're lawn is an important element that will contribute to the beauty of your home - but hey, we don't have to tell you that.
Following our early spring lawn care tips as we've set them out will increase your chances significantly of having a thick, green, carpet of grass that you and others can oogle over and stand back to admire.