Spring might not have yet sprung in some areas, but these spring lawn care tips can get anyone started on creating a gorgeous yard for the warmer months.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated: April 04, 2019

Most lawn care tips are great for spring and summer but not so great for months when there’s still a little chill in the air. Those earliest days of late winter and early spring may not feel like the best time to get out and start some lawn care, but a little early spring lawn care can mean the difference between a verdant summer lawn and a brown one.

To get the best tips for an early start on lawn care (even if there’s still a little snow on the ground), we turned to the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP)—our go-to for landscape design ideas and more—to learn the best spring lawn care tips homeowners, renters, or lawn care aficionados can start using now.

“One of the first things people need to be looking at for early spring is actually the health of their lawn,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs at NALP. “That lawn is really the foundation, for most of us, of what our outdoor spaces look like.”

So before turning to the garden, renting an aerator, or setting up outdoor furniture, try these early spring lawn care tips to give your lawn a fighting chance to be the best on the block this spring and summer.

Remove snowplow run-off.

Ideally, this should be happening all winter long. “When snowplows come through, we really do remind people to make sure they push everything back into the street,” Henriksen says. “Allowing that sand to accumulate on the edge of your lawn will really lead to a decrease in the health of grass and make it more susceptible to crab grass and things like it.”

In the depths of winter, this might not be possible, but letting that sand, salt, and debris from snow days pile up on the edges of lawns can kill grass early on. Minimizing that damage can give grass a better starting point, so there’s less repair needed when spring truly arrives.

Do some spring cleaning.

Even lawns can benefit from a deep clean in the early spring. “Broken branches and twigs and limbs all need to be cleared off before anything else on the lawn can take place,” Henriksen says. “In early spring, getting rid of that dead grass and any old leaves that may be still lingering before the warm days really hit is an important thing to do. First of all, it just looks better, but then also it can really help with the help of your lawn.”

Dead grass blades make an excellent home for fungi, Henriksen says, so clearing that debris away can stop disease from setting in. It also breaks up decomposing matter so light, air, and water can reach growing grass blades.

Add top-dressing and seed.

Once a lawn is clear, adding top-dressing—applying a small amount of top soil to parts of the lawn with weak, grassless, or dark patches that have suffered winter damage—gives new grass a clean slate to grow in. In certain areas unlikely to receive a final fierce freeze, seeding can also happen now. Residents of colder regions will want to make sure another freeze isn’t coming before they seed the whole lawn. Whenever seeding does happen, those areas that have received top-dressing should receive a little extra attention.

Prune trees.

This one isn’t specifically a lawn care tip, but taking time to care for surrounding trees is another foundational project that can make spending time outdoors all year long more enjoyable. While raking the lawn, check where branches and tree limbs have broken away from surrounding trees. If they left jagged areas or torn branches, they may have opened up spaces for disease and insects to enter trees, Henriksen says. Making sure that those jagged areas are pruned properly will keep trees healthy and help the yard as a whole look better.

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