Your lawn is starting to wake up! Think about your lawn like a bear emerging from hibernation. It has just spent the last several months sleeping and recovering from the stress of last year’s hot summer, and is now slowly warming up. Now, your lawn is hungry (needs some high-quality food), could probably use a nice long shower (here comes the Spring rain!), and could use a nice thorough grooming to get ready for the season.
Spring lawn care can be daunting (where do I even start?!), but don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be that hard! In fact, there are a few big things to start with that will really get you set up for a great season. Take a look below for some tips on how to get started.
1. First up? LOOK for signs of damage, weeds, and issues that you want to address this year.
Our first recommendation is always to take a nice long walk around your property. Do you see any signs of damage (did the snowplow dig up a part of your grass?) A few things to take note of:
- Wet winter weather may mean that you have moss growing in your lawn.
- See any circular spots on your lawn that look like moldy bread? If so, this might be snow mold!
- Can you see any “tracks” in your lawn where pesky critters (moles/voles/mice) may have enjoyed your beautiful lawn this winter?
- Are there any new weeds that are starting to pop up? Some weeds (e.g., bittercress) emerge before the grass does, so you’re likely to see these first thing in the Spring.
If so, take a couple pictures and let us know!
2. Next: GET READY for the season! Time to prepare your tools.
Mower maintenance is a big one—we usually recommend doing a mower (and other equipment) maintenance at the beginning of each summer. This includes:
- Changing the oil, air filter, and spark plugs
- Giving your mower a good wash (we also recommend washing before you put it away for the winter, but just in case, give it a good wash in the Spring too!)
- Blade sharpening
- Fueling the tank with fresh gas!
There are many shops that offer a full maintenance (or even just a quick blade sharpening), but most of these to-dos are easily done by yourself if you’re willing to give it the time! Most importantly, make sure to read your owner’s manual for proper maintenance safety, and never do any of this maintenance while the mower is running!
3. Finally, after you’ve tackled this prep work, it’s GO TIME!
Even though the soil ecosystem has been active over the entire winter, now that your lawn is waking up it’s about to be kicked into turbo mode! This means that your grass—and potential weeds—will be pulling nutrients from your soil at a much higher rate and quickly growing the “shoots” part of the plant. This means you’ll need to start mowing very soon! A couple of big needs at this point in the season:
- Clear a path for sun and rain to get to your grass and its roots—make sure you pick up any sticks, trash, leftover leaves and debris that may be covering your lawn. You should also give your lawn a good raking—this will really help to promote air and water flow (my removing dead grass, etc.), boosting your lawn’s health!
- Hand pull those weeds! Some individual weed plants can drop tens of thousands of seeds over the course of a single season, so any weeds that you can hand pull at this point in the season will be a big help in reducing weed populations as we go.
- Time for your pre-emergent treatment—this early-season treatment is focused on creating a weed “barrier” that will prevent weed seeds from germinating and popping out of the soil.
So, to summarize: take a nice long walk around your yard, get your tools ready to go, and then dive in! Most importantly, have fun with it (if you have kids, now is a great time to have a competition on who can pick up the most sticks!).
As always, feel free to reach out anytime with questions and let us know what you see when you’re out there!