7 Tips for Preparing Your Yard for Spring
Winter is harsh on your landscape. After the snow melts and you finally see your yard it might look like a hurricane swept through it. You only have a short window before everything starts to come out of dormancy. Getting a head start on spring prep can mean the difference between an okay yard and a great yard. It’s time to pull on a pair of gloves and get to work on these seven tips for preparing your yard for spring.
The snow and cold have compacted the soil beneath your grass, making it difficult for water and nutrients to get down to the roots. Aerating the lawn creates holes in the soil and gives it a chance to breathe. If you didn’t aerate in the fall, consider doing it now before moving on to the next step!
Apply Fertilizer and Weed Killer
Getting a head start in the spring is key to a successful lawn. Once you’ve aerated, and the grass begins to grow, apply fertilizer, so your grass has everything it needs to remain healthy. Apply weed killer to nip weeds in the bud.
Depending on where you live, the time you should apply fertilizer varies. Here’s a guide to our western states.
- Arizona: Early spring is the best feeding time before the temperatures get too hot.
- Nevada: Wait until September or October when temperatures begin to cool.
- Northern and Central California: Fertilize cool-season grasses in early spring or late spring if winters were cold. Then again in late summer and fall.
- Southern California: Fertilize warm-season grasses in late spring or early summer and again in late summer or early fall.
- Utah: Cool-season grasses do best in Utah so fertilize in early spring, late spring or early summer, late summer and fall.
Reseed Dead Patches
Dead patches can be the result of fungus or certain lawn pests. The most important thing is to get those spots prepped for seeding. Thoroughly rake the area to loosen up the dead grass and allow some airflow. Then reseed and apply some light fertilizer. Water regularly and the patch should fill in in a few weeks to a month.
Clean Up Your Flower Beds
Rake up all the debris that has accrued on your flower beds and garden over the winter. Pull out any dead weeds or flowers that you missed in the fall and place them in your new compost pile. If you composted last year, put some of the compost in your flower beds now, otherwise buy some fertilizer or manure.
Make a Compost Pile
Composting is a great way to reduce waste and give back to the earth. Composting is simple and incredibly cheap. You can either buy a compost bin from a gardening store, make your own out of a garbage can, or make a compost pile somewhere in your yard. By adding things such as leaves, grass clippings, and other organic material you can create your own fertilizer to use on your garden. Meats and fats should not go into your compost pile.
Rake, Rake, Rake
The first thing any homeowner should do in the spring is rake. It’s likely you raked in the fall as part of your winter prep. But over the winter a lot of debris can collect on your grass. And you need to get it off quickly before the grass starts to grow. Clumps of leaves or piles of gravel left by the snowplow will kill any grass underneath. Raking also loosens up thatch that can breed diseases in damp conditions and invite pests.
Tend To Your Trees and Shrubs
Your trees and shrubs need attention too. When buds start to emerge, prune any branches that didn’t make it through the winter. Fertilize the soil and apply fresh mulch around the base. Check for wounds or insect infestations. If you planted the tree within the last year then continue to water it regularly.
Spending a little time on your lawn at the beginning of the season can save you countless hours later. If you follow these seven tips for preparing your yard for spring, you’ll have time to enjoy a lush, green lawn well into the fall.