When Should You Start Spring Lawn Care? (Plus 5 Things to Check)

As the daffodils and daisies begin to bloom once again, you’ll likely find yourself looking at your lackluster lawn and wondering when you should start your spring lawn care routine again. We’re here to tell you that if the flowers are in full bloom, you’re a bit behind!

However, there’s no time like the present, right? After all, you’re probably ready to get back out and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air after a few long months inside for the winter.

Not sure how to prepare your lawn for the spring? Read ahead as we dive into the topic and answer your questions about when you should start your spring lawn care and how to go about doing it in the most efficient way possible.

When Should You Start Lawn Care in the Spring?

The answer to this depends on what you constitute as lawn care. In terms of mowing your lawn, that’ll depend on where you live and what the weather is like. Generally speaking, it can be a good idea to fertilize your lawn when the soil is moist or when it’s about to rain, as long as the temperature isn’t expected to drop below freezing. The fertilizers you’ll want to apply should be both a pre-emergent and a weed killer.

One good indicator of when to begin spring lawn care is if you see forsythia plants withering away and lilac bushes blooming. If you live in an area that receives a bit of snow, you can start planning for spring lawn care when the snow season is over (whether that’s before the spring equinox or after). 

If you live somewhere where the cold lasts well into April and May, you might want to spend the first few weeks of spring checking your tools, cleaning your lawnmower, and engaging in indoor spring cleaning tasks instead.

5 Things to Check Before Starting Lawn Care in the Spring

1. Check Your Tools

We already mentioned checking your lawnmower to make sure it’s working properly, but what else should you check before starting lawn care this spring? First, you’ll need to simply make sure that you have the tools you need to help you carry out your tasks. This includes ensuring that you have a rake that’s in great condition, heavy-duty gloves, and perhaps even an aerator.

While spring isn’t the best time to aerate your lawn, if it’s necessary, you should do it before the soil dries up and the weather gets hotter. However, a deep raking session can work just as effectively. Doing so can loosen matted grass and leaf clumps that are blocking your grass from getting fresh air to grow.

2. Patch Up Bald Spots

You can patch up bald spots in your lawn by overseeding in areas where the grass isn’t growing. When doing this, be sure to also use a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer. Five weeks later, you’ll apply a quick-release nitrogen feed. Because you have to wait five weeks, be sure to overseed earlier in spring.

3. Aerate if Necessary

We briefly mentioned aeration above, but let’s circle back around to that. Depending on where you live, you might find that it’s necessary to aerate every spring simply due to the weather conditions. That’s okay! Aeration is the solution to any lawn that’s especially worn down and compacted after heavy snow or extremely cold weather.

If you live in an area like that, you’ll want to try to aerate your lawn in the fall before the cold weather hits. If you didn’t get around to it, we suggest aiming to aerate later in spring or even earlier in the summer as long as the ground hasn’t completely dried up.

4. Kill Weeds & Dandelions

Using a pre-emergent herbicide can help kill weeds such as Crabgrass. When should you apply it? It depends on where you live, what your lawn looks like, and the exact herbicide you decide to use. Most herbicides come with timing instructions on the bag that you can use to help you determine when will be the best time to apply it to your lawn.

However, do keep in mind that if you decide to fertilize in the early spring, too much fertilizer can lead to weed problems throughout the summer. If you fertilized in the late fall, your lawn should still have fertilizer to feed off of until you apply pre-emergent herbicides.

5. Start Your Irrigation System

Assuming that your lawn is cleared of all leaves and compacted grass and you’ve taken care of the other tasks laid out above, it’s now time to start up your irrigation system again! When’s the best time to do this? Use a shovel to check that the soil is free of frost at least 12 inches down into the ground.

Then, you’re going to clear out your pipes, check them for any damage, and repair them with a solvent cement if something cracked under the cold weather. Then, you’ll inspect sprinkler heads and open the valve carefully to let water flow through slowly. If there are no issues with pooling, bubbling, or other signs of issues within your irrigation system, you should be ready to reprogram the controller and get back into your regular watering routine!

Keeping Your Spring Lawn Green

Depending on where you live, you might find that you don’t need to start watering until the end of spring or beginning of summer. In arid regions of the country, you’ll need to keep an eye on precipitation levels and temperatures to ensure your lawn is getting enough water.

Not sure if you’re watering correctly or what your spring lawn care routine should look like? Get in touch and we’ll we’ll recommend an expert plus help you make sense of what products your lawn could use to help it thrive throughout the spring and summer months.