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5 Easy Steps to Prep Your Yard for Spring

Updated: Mar 20

For those of us that live in areas that get snow during the winter, we all know the relief we feel when spring finally comes around and we can enjoy our yards/gardens. However, there are a few spring preparation steps you must take to ensure your landscapes are ready to be enjoyed.

Yard with garden

Step 1: Tune up your equipment

Lawn mower on grass

You'll want to be sure that all of your equipment is tuned up and ready to go for the yard care season. Tune up your lawnmower by replacing the air filter, clean the carburetor, change the oil, fill it with fresh gas, and sharpen the blades so that you can always get a clean cut.

Step 2: Clean up any mess

Raking grass

Spring can be a real messy time for a yard. There can be lots of leaves, branches, thatch and other debris that gets all over your yard. Take the time after the snow thaws to use a leaf rake to clean up all the mess. You can use tarps to rake debris onto for easy clean up, or use bins and compostable paper bags to bring everything to your local compost site.

Step 3: Mow the grass

Lawn mower on grass

The first mow of your yard helps sunlight reach the grass that will start growing soon, removes clumped, matted, and flat laying grass from your yard. This helps clear the way to the soil so that when you get to step 4, fertilizing your yard can be more effective. Be careful not to mow your grass too short in the spring however. Mowing too short can stunt the growth of the grass, so be sure to just take a little bit off the top, and leave your grass height at 3.5 to 4 inches high.

Step 4: Get ready to fertilize your yard


After cleaning up your yard and mowing, you clear the path for fertilizer to get down into the grass and do its job. However, timing is everything when it comes to fertilizing your yard for the growing season. If you fertilize your yard too early, you might get lots of lush top growth, but it doesn't allow the turfs root system to properly develop. This can cause your yard to struggle later in the summer during hot and dry conditions. The best time to fertilize depends on where you live, but generally falls between March and May when the grass actively starts growing and around when it needs its first mow.

You'll want to look for a good lawn fertilizer with a 20-5-10 ratio. This ratio means it is a slow release fertilizer that allows the substance to break down and release nutrients over time. They let you wait longer between new applications and can be found at most garden centers and home improvement stores. Grab a fertilizer spreader, read the directions, and get started on getting a healthy yard!

Step 5: Fill in any bare spots

Laying sod

Bare spots in a yard can be a real eye sore. Filling in bare spots in your yard with a good grass seed and gently watering it often can help make your yard look great. In 6-8 weeks when spring has truly sprung and summer is around the corner, the new grass should be ready to mow and enjoy!

If you want an option that's more immediate, think of installing some sod. Sod installation can be done by anyone and is much quicker to get results when compared to grass seeding. Lay down your piece of sod on wet bare spots, being sure it lies flat to get out any air pockets. You should water the sod once or twice per day for a couple of weeks before the new grass fully roots itself.

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