The cold winter has finally come to an end and spring is here!
Hopefully, your grass, shrubs, and flowers have all survived intact.
Ideally, you gave your lawn a good fall fertilization to help it survive the winter. Now it is time to start thinking about getting your grass some nutrients after months of being dormant.
Your grass is ready to start turning green again and will be pulling nourishment from the soil to help it come back to life. Now it’s time to get your spring lawn care jobs done and set your lawn up for beautiful green summer.
We’ve created this checklist for you so you can get your lawn primed for success.
Spring Lawn Care Checklist
Don’t start too soon
Most of us are anxious to get to work but starting your lawn work too soon is counterproductive. Wait for the soil to dry out to normal levels and until your grass has greened up before mowing.
Too much traffic on your grass before it’s green and actively growing could kill off new shoots before they have matured, and also compact your soil.
Related: Early spring lawn care
Get your mower ready
Sharpen your blades, change the oil, put in fresh gasoline and make sure your mower is ready for the new year. How to get your mower ready for spring
Take care of snow piles
If you still have piles of snow on your lawn, use a break to spread out the remaining snow so it will melt faster and more evenly on your grass.
Clean up debris
It’s extremely likely your lawn could use some spring cleaning. Rake up any leaves so your grass is getting the sun it needs. Pick up sticks and any garbage or scraps that may have blown into your yard. Use a leaf rake and rake gently so as not to damage any new shoots. As you clean up, make a note of any parts of your grass that may need dethatching or reseeding.
The best time of year to aerate is in the Fall but if you didn’t aerate in the fall you can still do it in the spring. Make sure your lawn has fully greened up before aerating. If you did aerate in the fall, then you can skip it in the spring. Why aerate your lawn?
Overseed bare patches
Even the best lawns can develop patchy areas because of weather conditions. Early spring is a good time to overseed any patchy areas because it is still wet and cool, making great growing conditions for new grass to establish itself.
Apply pre-emergent weed killer
Crabgrass spreads by seeds. By applying a pre-emergent weed killer you can stop it before it gets a chance to establish itself. If you can get it out of your lawn this year and thicken your grass, you can help prevent it from coming back next year. How to get rid of crabgrass in your lawn
You don’t want to overdue it with fertilizer in early spring as it can cause fuller growth at the expense of establishing stronger root systems. A light fertilization with a high nitrogen, slow release fertilizer can benefit cool season grasses that thrive in northern Illinois to recover from winter damage. How often should I fertilize my lawn?
We know you’re anxious to get that lawn thick and green but it’s going to need a little time. Watering in the spring is usually not necessary because our spring here is likely to be rainy and wet enough. The only place that may need watering is any new plantings you’ve done.
For the first mow of the season, you can mow good and low to remove the dead grass tops, although not too low that you cut the crown. A short cut will give new grass leaves the sun they need to grow and establish themselves. Lawn mowing tips
Edge plant beds
Rake leaves from your flower beds and use a flat-edged shovel or a mechanical bed knife to edge around your flower and plant beds.
Mulch flower beds and trees
Rake the top and then lay fresh mulch in your landscape beds and around any tree beds to discourage weed growth and help plant roots in retaining moisture.