3 Ways to Prepare Your Backyard for Spring

3 Ways to Prepare Your Backyard for Spring
  • Opening Intro -

    Spring is a time for renewal, and homeowners shouldn't forget that.

    Preparing your backyard after the winter thaw presents a unique annual opportunity to renew, reinvigorate, and reinvent your outdoor space.

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No matter how big or small your backyard is, your lawn is often the first impression neighbors and others have of you. Are there weeds? Do you have patches of dead or overgrown grass? Are your garden beds mulched and tidy, or are they beds of dried soil and wilted plants?

Everything from the state of your lawn to the clutter in your backyard says something about you. Grab your shovel, mulch, and replace those John Deere riding mower parts and dig in.

Organize Your Backyard

The best place to start is a little spring cleaning. Clean up clutter, furniture, unused tools and equipment from the front and back yard. Store them in a shed or basement, or throw a yard sale once spring comes around to show off your new yard and make a couple of bucks.

Once the backyard is clear, you can get a better look at your lawn. You may have to do some raking or remove yard debris like branches and rocks to get to the grass beneath. That’s when the hard work starts.

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Get Your Lawn Spring-Ready

Take care of the tools and lawn equipment you’ll need first, before getting to the lawn. You can get your lawn mower ready by sharpening blades and changing the oil, making sure all of the tools—shovels, rakes, garden hoes, and other yard essentials—are in working order. You could even make a checklist to keep track of everything you’ll need.

Once the soil has thawed, you can start your work. Weeding it and removing unwanted garden plants is a good place to begin. When you get to the actual lawn, consider performing a soil test first. This is the only way to know the state of your lawn and its nutrient needs, so if it’s been awhile, test the soil.

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Next, rake your lawn to begin the aeration process. Spring is still a fine time to aerate, moving around the soil to encourage deeper root growth and reach. It also helps control thatch and improves air, water, and nutrient filtration. Waiting to water until the weather warms is recommended. Limiting the frequency of watering also helps prepare the lawn for the very hot summer days.

It’s suggested that you overseed bare areas and aerate before starting crabgrass prevention and control, but don’t worry about crabgrass control if you have to overseed—it will work on the grass seed, too.

One of the most important lawn maintenance and care tips is to keep your grass watered. You can use mulch to help lock moisture in, but remember: it’s better to overwater infrequently than to water very little, very often. When you water your plants and grass only a little every day, roots will remain near the surface; whereas infrequent overwatering will encourage those roots to stay deep within the soil.

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Do Some Landscaping

Change things up if you’re stuck in a backyard rut. Rearrange lawn furniture, add a fire pit, do something to your yard that makes you feel good about the outdoor space—that reinvigorates your passion to take care of it and make it the envy of the neighborhood. Anything you can do to your backyard to get it ready for outdoor activities, cook outs, and lawn parties should be on your springtime to-do list.

Remember to take care not to overwork your yard too quickly after winter. The soil needs time to thaw and dry before any major work is done to the lawn. Soil compaction could inhibit the growth of new grass. So if you’re patient and work at a steady pace, your yard should be ready for a makeover come spring. If you stick to the list above you’ll have that boring and broken backyard looking lush and lustrous in no time at all.

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