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It’s time to plan your spring projects and dust off your lawn mower, rakes and gardening tools!

While some days might still seem a little too cool to think about getting into your lawn maintenance routine, you need to start your spring lawn care early in order to enjoy the benefits through the summer and into the fall.

Following the below steps will give you a head start on creating a beautiful lawn and will help keep your lawn looking full and healthy for months to come.

Take the time to clean up the yard, removing twigs and broken branches that have accumulated throughout the winter.  For easier cleanup, use a leaf blower when you can.  For the areas that are a bit tougher to clean up, use a rake.

Look for areas where the soil is compacted and spots that are covered in moss.  If you find soil compaction, keep this in mind to fix in the fall.

Once you have taken the time to clean up the lawn, be sure to apply fertilizer and a pre-emergent.  While this initially needs to be done in early spring, plan on repeating this process approximately 6 weeks later.  This will ensure you’re taking care of weeds before they have a chance to take over.

If you find moss, you can assume the acid level in your lawn is high.  To remedy this, you will want to apply lime to your soil.  You can take a soil sample to your local lawn care store to have it tested.

If you have bare spots due to high traffic or wear and tear from animals, you’ll want to consider overseeding.  Though it’s typically best to overseed in the fall, you can certainly try to rectify the problem by loosening about 2-4 inches of soil and spreading a combination of grass seed and fertilizer over the bare spots.

Plan on mowing your lawn early on and continue to mow approximately every five days during early spring for best results.

If your lawn gets too high before mowing, you run the risk of damaging the grass roots.  When mowing, be sure to mow to a height of 2 ½ to 3 ½ inches.  Mowing high and often will produce tougher turf that keeps weeds at bay.  Mowing this way also helps to retain moisture during the hot summer months

Apply a thick layer of mulch to flower beds and the base of trees and shrubs.  The mulch gives your landscape a fresh look and helps to moderate soil temperatures and moisture levels.

While there are a number of tasks that needs to be taken care of if you want a lush, healthy lawn, spring maintenance is easier and faster if you take the time to properly prep your lawn in the fall.  Spring cleaning, mowing and fertilizing are relatively easy steps to follow in order to get the results you want.  Once you do your part, you can count on the sun and warmth of the spring and summer months to take care of the rest for you.