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7 Tips for End of Winter Lawn Care | Ready Your Yard for Spring (2023)

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end of winter care for lawnYour lawn is prepping for warmer temps. Don’t let winter sticks around and stunt spring growth. Grab that rake and tidy up leftover debris now. Mowing time is ahead – raise your mower to the max notch for your grass type.

Taller blades mean deeper roots and thicker turf that blocks weeds. Feel at ease knowing you have prepped your yard for the lush landscape you crave. When spring sprouts up, spot-treat any straggling dandelions with a weed killer that will not harm your grass.

Waiting for that first spring mow? Ease your lawn into the new season with some winter cleanup first. Rake out matted grasses and weeds from last fall so your lawn can breathe. Adjust your mower to the highest setting for your type of grass – taller blades grow healthier roots.

Come spring, you will spot fewer weeds and enjoy thicker, greener turf. Feel the comfort of your yard prepped for growth.

Key Takeaways

  • Raise mower height for spring transition
  • Repair bare spots before crabgrass invades
  • Overseed thin areas to thicken turf
  • Fertilize to feed grass before the growing season

End of Winter Lawn Care

End of Winter Lawn Care
Clear away any leftover dead grass and leaves so your lawn can breathe, then give it its first feeding to wake it from its winter nap. Doing this prepwork sets your turf up for lush, weed-free growth when warmer weather’s here.

Now that early spring’s arrived and snow melts, prepare your yard to start the growing season strong. Rake thoroughly to clear debris, allowing air and sunlight to reach the soil and stimulate new growth.

Core aerate compacted areas to improve soil health before applying starter fertilizer to feed the lawn’s fresh awakening. Selective herbicides also help prevent early weeds while efficient watering practices encourage vigorous root development.

Proactive steps ensure your lawn leaps lushly into the active seasons ahead.

Spring Lawn Preparation

Spring Lawn Preparation
As warmer weather arrives, your lawn is starting to wake from its winter slumber. Before mowing for the first time, thoroughly rake to remove any debris like leaves or twigs that may be smothering the grass.

Applying spring fertilizer now will provide your lawn the nutrients it requires to shrug off winter’s effects and recover from any damage. A properly fed lawn will swiftly green up and cultivate a profound root structure to sustain vigorous growth through spring.

Remove Debris

Rake your yard thoroughly to remove debris. A clean start allows healthy spring growth.

  1. Remove curling leaves and piled snow.
  2. Clear the mower deck of debris.
  3. Inspect the lawn roller for blockages.
  4. Clean the spreader of leftover fertilizer.
  5. Sharpen the mower blade after weeks of winter use.

A debris-free lawn breathes freely again after the cold months.

First Mowing

Here are some tips for your first mowing this spring. Set your mower height high, around 3-4 inches for cool season grasses. Let the warm sun reach more new green blades. Remove debris before rolling over it and damaging the grass.

Fertilize Lawn

We are due to fertilize your lawn soon to strengthen roots for the summer. Let’s spread some Scotts Turf Builder to give your grass a healthy boost. This fertilizer treatment during peak growing season helps eliminate weeds and prevent crabgrass while promoting fresh growth of your cool-season grasses.

Enjoy the moss control, grub control, and leaf spot prevention this lawn fertilizer provides.

Raise Mower Height

Raise Mower Height
You’ll wanna raise that mower deck to the highest notch before the first cut of spring. Letting those blades stand tall allows sunlight to reach more grass surface, fueling photosynthesis and growth. Mowing high also builds a deeper root system, creating a lawn that’s more drought tolerant come summer’s heat.

Plus it shades out emerging crabgrass and other weeds before they get a foothold. So take a few minutes to adjust your mower up and sharpen that blade. Proper mowing practices now give your lawn what it needs to thrive through the active seasons ahead.

Repair Bare Spots

Repair Bare Spots
Fix those bare spots now before crabgrass and other weeds move in. A quick overseeding ensures your lawn stays lush and weed-free as temperatures rise. Use a steel rake to loosen the top half-inch of soil in bare areas, removing any dead grass.

Mix in a thin layer of compost or topsoil to fill low spots. Apply grass seed at the rate recommended for your variety. Lightly rake seed into the soil, keeping good contact with the earth. Water gently daily until new blades emerge.

Proper late-winter repair sets your lawn up for vigorous growth through the active seasons ahead.

Overseed Lawn

Overseed Lawn
Prep your lawn now with overseeding before warmer temps arrive. Your fescue, ryegrass or bluegrass can thin over winter months, leaving prime spots for crabgrass invasion. Carefully rake debris and leaves, gently scarifying to lift matted grass and expose soil.

Test soil pH, correcting below 6.2 with dolomitic lime. Core aerate if compacted, or rent an aerator. Choose quality seed for your zone, applying at recommended rates in 2 directions. Gently rake and roll seeded areas for soil contact. Water lightly daily, nurturing new green blades as they emerge.

Proper late winter overseeding restores density, enriching your lawn with healthy grass before growing seasons ahead.

Control Weeds

Control Weeds
Controlling weeds now prevents crabgrass and broadleaf invaders from decimating your lawn this spring. University studies show preemergent herbicides block 70% more weeds when applied properly in late winter.

Walk your lawn, identifying bare patches and potential weed trouble spots. Once the soil temperature reaches 55°F, apply a preemergent herbicide like Scotts Halts to form a protective barrier, preventing crabgrass and other annual weedy grasses from germinating.

Broadleaf weeds like dandelions and clover emerge earlier than crabgrass, so spot treat now with Ortho Weed B Gon or similar liquid broadleaf herbicide. Early preemergent application paired with spot treating visible weeds gives your grass the upper hand this spring.

Aerate Lawn

Aerate Lawn
You’ll want to core aerate now to improve soil conditions before the lawn greens up this spring. Using an aerator tool bores small holes into the soil, allowing air, water and nutrients to penetrate compact soil and reach the lawn’s roots.

Core aeration helps alleviate soil compaction from foot traffic and winter freezes, plus reduces unwanted thatch buildup. Time this effort when the existing turf is still dormant and the moist soil is receptive.

For best results, go over the area in different directions with passes about six inches apart. Proper spring aeration gives your lawn what it needs to thrive when active growth resumes, ensuring you’ll have a healthier, greener lawn this season.

Fall Lawn Care

Fall Lawn Care
Let’s green up that grass before winter hits by overseeding thin spots, giving it some fall fertilizer, and doing a final mow to tidy things up.

  1. Aerate the lawn to allow air, water and nutrients to reach roots before winter.
  2. Overseed bare or thin areas to thicken up the turf before it goes dormant.
  3. Apply a final helping of fertilizer to feed the grass so it stays healthy through winter.

Fall’s the ideal time for major lawn renovation projects before the turf goes dormant. Core aerate, overseed, spot treat weeds, and give the lawn its last fertilizer feeding of the year. Proper fall lawn care ensures your grass will stay lush and green coming out of winter.

Winterize Irrigation

Winterize Irrigation
After prepping your lawn for winter dormancy, it’s time to winterize the irrigation system. This prevents freeze damage to pipes and ensures a smooth start next spring. Don’t wait until the first hard freeze – take care of it now so you’re not rushing.

You’ll breathe easier knowing the system is protected before old man winter shows up.

Let’s walk through the steps so you can stow the sprinklers until spring:

Step Action Reason
1 Drain irrigation lines Prevents water from freezing and rupturing pipes
2 Shut off and drain backflow device Keeps internal parts from freezing damage
3 Insulate above-ground pipes and backflow Protects from hard freezes
4 Disconnect hoses and drain Hoses can crack from expanded frozen water
5 Turn off and drain any pumps Prevents internal pump damage
6 Store sprinkler heads if removable Heads can crack over the winter

Final Fall Mowing

Final Fall Mowing
Some say the greatest blessings come full circle, so finish strong this fall and prepare your lawn to start anew. As the cooler weather accelerates growth, take time now to sharpen mower blades, enhance drainage, and reduce grass height for winter.

Effective core aeration relieves compaction, while a late application of lawn fertilizer bolsters root reserves. Then, let the grass rest through winter’s late fatigue. Though each unusual season takes its toll, proper end of winter care sets up your lawn to rally again in spring.

Now’s the time to prep or call a full-service company to assess and restore. The circle closes as your lawn ends this year poised for rebirth.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When should I apply pre-emergent herbicide for spring weed control?

You’ll want to apply pre-emergent herbicide in early spring before warm-season weeds sprout. Timing is crucial for blocking crabgrass, goosegrass, and other unwanted plants. Follow label directions and reapply after several weeks or heavy rain. Being proactive prevents problems down the road, allowing your lawn to thrive weed-free.

How do I calibrate my broadcast spreader for proper fertilizer application?

You’ll need to know your spreader’s manufacturer guidelines and your lawn’s square footage. Measure out the amount of product needed for a defined area. Adjust spreader settings and do test runs until you achieve the proper coverage for that amount.

What’s the best way to get rid of moss in my lawn?

Moss infests thin, poor lawns. To improve a lawn’s health first, raise the mowing height, fertilize properly, aerate, and overseed. Then scrub moss out vigorously with a stiff broom. Apply lime to raise the pH if needed.

When is the ideal time to dethatch my lawn?

The best time to dethatch your lawn is early fall. Dethatching first thing in the fall allows time for grass recovery before winter. Use a dethatching rake or power rake to remove debris before it can smother grass.

Let air and nutrients reach roots again! Aerate for added benefits. Healthy lawns start below the surface.

How often should I water my lawn during the summer months?

Monitor your lawn closely for signs of drought stress like leaf curling or wilting. Aim to water 1-5 inches per week, splitting it into 2-3 sessions. Adjust the frequency based on the weather, avoiding watering when rain is forecasted.

Let the top inch dry between waterings. Water early in the morning to reduce evaporation.


After a long winter, over 70 percent of homeowners see lawn damage. But you can get ahead of spring lawn maintenance with proper late winter care. Raise mower heights, repair bare spots, overseed thin areas, and fertilize to prep your lawn’s end of winter transition.

Performing core aeration now improves soil conditions for robust grass growth when temperatures warm.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.