We’ve all heard the phrase, “the early bird gets the worm,” but that isn’t always the case when it comes to how to take care of lawns in spring. When it comes to starting up lawn care for spring, beginning too early could result in damaging your lawn. So when should you start spring lawn care? We’re answering this question and giving you some tips for how to take care of lawns in spring to give you the best looking lawn in the neighborhood.
So…When Should You Start Spring Lawn Care?
We know you’re eager to shake off the cold winter months and get back to enjoying the outdoors as quickly as possible! Every year, many homeowners jump right into DIY landscape design that hurts curb appeal and leaves behind damaged grass for the seasons ahead. How can you avoid this? When should you start spring lawn care, then?
Even if you’ve been using a landscaping planner online or readying your spring yard cleanup list, it’s not a good idea to jump into it on the first warm day of the year! We love the excitement, but learning how to take care of a lawn in spring means waiting until the right time to begin.
Starting too early can lead to grass and soil compacting or destroying regrowth before it has time to mature. Likewise, if your yard is still soaking up the moisture from the winter months, watering it too early is one of the guaranteed ways to kill your lawn you’ll want to avoid.
There are a few good rules of thumb to use when answering the question, “when should you start spring lawn care?” Hiring professionals (we happen to know the best landscaping professionals in Albany, Saratoga, Colonie, and the surrounding areas!) for spring yard cleaning service is the easiest place to start as they’ll know the ideal time to begin. After that, consider these signs that it’s time to start spring lawn care:
- Average temperatures should be above 40ºF
- Grass and soil in your yard should be completely thawed
- There should be no standing water or muddy areas in your yard
- Your grass should be actively growing
One of the first things homeowners want to do when asking, “when should you start spring lawn care?” is mow the grass for the first time of the season. Once again, we say to pump the brakes and let it grow a little first! Cutting the grass too soon can lead to damaged, unhealthy grass you’ll be fighting all summer long. Instead, look for new regrowth to be a bright green and allow it to grow to 2 or 3 inches in length before you do the first mow of the season. This protects the new growth shoots, keeps root systems protected from infections and diseases, and helps roots grow deeper for better moisture absorption.
How to Take Care of Your Lawn in the Spring
Now that we’ve explored the question, “when should you start spring lawn care?” let’s take a look at what you should be doing this spring to prepare your lawn for the rest of the year ahead! Depending on the average temperature, USDA plant hardiness zone, amount of rainfall, and other factors that affect your yard, learning how to take care of lawns in spring varies from place to place. For example, knowing what grass is right for Upstate NY lawns (hint: cool season grasses) is great, but you also need to learn the best time for tasks like overseeding and dethatching to keep your yard looking lush and green.
As you’re learning how to take care of your lawn in the spring, consider these tasks your yard needs:
- Spring yard cleaning
- Addressing bald spots caused by snow mold or other factors
- Targeting weeds and crabgrass
- Testing the soil
- Preparing your lawn for new landscaping
As you learned when asking the question, “when should you start spring lawn care?” spring yard cleaning should be the first task you handle this season. Cutting back overgrowth on trees and shrubs, removing leaves and other debris from your yard, and discarding seasonal flowers to make way for new landscaping are all effective methods for how to take care of a lawn in spring that you can get going on early in the season.
Aerating your lawn and spot-seeding bare spots can be effective for the cool season grasses of Upstate NY early in spring if you didn’t do it the previous fall (or are seeing areas affected by snow mold). You may also consider treating your lawn for crabgrass and other weed problems to prevent them from germinating. Pre-emergent and post-emergent weed treatments will provide application timing advice to make sure you get the best results without damaging your lawn.
Answering the question, “when should you start spring lawn care?” is more about local climate and weather factors than it is about setting a hard start date. Following our tips will help you with how to take care of lawns in spring and keep your yard looking its best all year long. Want some help from the pros? From spring yard cleanup and preparing your yard for new landscaping to the first mow of the season, our Capital Region landscaping professionals are ready to jump in and tackle all your needs. Contact us and let’s get started making your home the envy of the neighborhood!
Want to learn more about spring lawn care and preparing your yard for summer? Check out more of our guides here:
- What Does Lawn Maintenance Include?
- Sad Lawn? Landscaping Ideas Where Grass Won’t Grow
- Summer Lawn Care Mistakes You’re Probably Making 🙈
- How to Take Care of Your Lawn Year Round