There comes a point in every lawn care addict’s life when spring can’t come soon enough. After “springing ahead” an extra hour, the days are longer and the extra sunshine gives us all the extra itch to get outside and work on our lawns.
I’ve created a simple step-by-step plan of things to go in early spring to set your lawn up for 2020 success. This is a condensed version of my April Lawn Care Schedule.
Measure Your Lawn
If you haven’t done so already, you need to know how many total square feet your lawn actually is. You can do this manually with a walking measuring tape. Or simply do it online with an area calculator from Sod Solutions.
Knowing the square footage of each zone of your property is crucial. Applying too much or too little will make a big difference in the health and appearance of your lawn.
Before you start throwing down fertilizers and soil amendments on your lawn, you need to know what your soil needs. Since there’s some downtime before we apply pre emergents to control crabgrass, it’s a perfect time to get your soil tested.
- Check your local Universities such as UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture
- Try an easy-to-use DIY soil test like Soil Savvy
- Buy on Amazon or DoMyOwn
Lawn Mower Prep
Be sure to start your lawn mower for a few minutes before draining the oil (if you haven’t done this before putting your mower to bed for the winter). Change the oil, spark plug, and air filter. If you have a ride-on mower or zero turn, you will want to also change your oil filter and gas filter.
Make sure your blades are sharp and ready to go. I aways recommend Oregon Gator G3 mulching blades. They are an absolute game changer and very affordable. I suggest buying a backup blade as well. You never know when you may bottom out or hit a rock. I have three for my Toro 22″ Recycler.
If you missed your window last winter, now is the prefect time to clean up your lawn in preparation for the growing season. When weather permits, get out there and pick up sticks, blow away leftover leaves, and clean up all other debris that mother nature dropped in your lawn over winter.
Once it really starts to warm up (late March, early April in Massachusetts, for example) you can begin to rake the lawn. Be sure the ground is not wet or frozen. Lightly raking the lawn will help increase airflow throughout the grass, help lift up matted turf that was compacted by ice and snow, and to allow for more sunlight to penetrate the soil.
Crabgrass and Weed Control
Please note: exclude this step if you plan on seeding in the spring.
I wrote an in-depth post about controlling and killing crabgrass. In short, you will need to apply your first application pre emergent as soil temperatures approach 50 degrees consistently. I suggest Prodiamine (Barricade).
Buy your pre emergents now! Don’t wait until they’re sold out. At the time of writing this post, DoMyOwn still has a 10% sale on all pre emergents. The two I recommend are below:
While you’re out there, think about getting some fungicides. We had a very wet spring last year and many people saw the effects of brown patch and other funguses and diseases.
Consider buying some grub control now, too, for late spring application.
Finally, take inventory of what else you have and what you need. Examples include hoses, sprinklers, weed trimmers, and other fertilizers. Check out some early season sales.
I hope this early spring care guide was helpful! Please let me know by commenting below! Thanks for reading and sharing.