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9 Essential Tips to Get Your Yard Ready for Spring

man pushing lawn mower

For lots of people, the mention of “spring cleaning” means freshening up the inside of a house after a long winter. But, spring cleaning applies to your yard, too. A little TLC and sweat spent on your yard and tools now will pay off later in the season. Here are 9 essential tips to get your yard ready for spring.

  1. Make a plan. Are you planting a vegetable garden this year? How about a foolproof flower garden? Plan the space on paper, or by laying it out on the lawn and research everything before you buy supplies. This will help you gauge exactly what will fit in your space. You’ll be glad you did. For instance, did you know that tomato plants need about 3 feet of space between them?
  2. Rake, rake, rake! Get out there with some muscle power and rake your yard clear of debris, leaves, and whatever else winter has left behind. Then spread a thin 1/4″ layer of aged compost around – this is a practice known as “topdressing” and is more typically done on golf courses. However, homeowners are starting to see the benefits, too.
  3. Maintain your mower. Make sure the first cut is the sharpest by having your lawnmower serviced and your blades sharpened. Dull blades can rip out the grass instead of cutting it, leaving your lawn susceptible to water loss and infection. Plus, grass that is cut, not ripped, should recover more quickly.
  4. Know your grass. How short you cut your grass is all about what type of grass you have. Keeping your grass at recommended heights helps it better combat weeds and water loss. Plus, it feels great on bare feet. Generally speaking, experts say to mow between 2.5” to 3”, particularly in summer. Mowing below that tends to weaken your grass and increase stress.
  5. Time your first cut. When should you start mowing? Generally, you should wait until temperatures are consistently above 40 degrees and the grass is at least 2-inches tall (better if you wait a little longer).
  6. Take a hard look at your landscaping. Now is the time to start fresh. Remove things that aren’t working. For instance, if that azalea bush just didn’t come back after the winter, pull it out and think about planting something different or nothing at all.
  7. How’s the hardscaping? Hardscaping refers to rocks, patios, walkways, pavers, decks, and boxes around planters, fences, gates, arbors, gazebos, and more that need repair. The winter weather can do some damage to all of these things so it’s important you make the necessary updates so that you can enjoy all of these things in the warmer weather.
  8. It’s fertilizer time. One of the most important lawn maintenance tips come spring is to fertilize your backyard. Scotts, the lawn care company, recommends fertilizing your lawn at least four times a year to maintain healthy turf. It’s best to start with a first feeding in early spring when your lawn is waking up from its winter slumber. Make sure you follow the directions very closely. Putting down too much fertilizer can burn your lawn.
  9. Maintain it. The initial work might be time consuming but the more you maintain the upkeep the better your yard will be in the long run. And who doesn’t want the best lawn in the neighborhood?