New lawn care in spring.

Early Spring Lawn Care Checklist for Toronto Homeowners

Do you want your lawn to turn lush and dense in spring and stay healthy throughout the year? If so, here’s an early spring lawn care checklist that will help make that wish come true.

What to Do to Your Lawn in Early Spring

1. Clear Away Leaves and Debris From Your Lawn

Leaves and branches may have fallen over winter and been buried underneath the snow. Some patches of grass may have died. Once the snow melts, one of the first things you can do for your lawn is to remove leaves and debris. Otherwise, they will smother your grass and even cause dead spots. A pile of leaves and debris can also prevent soil from getting the sun and water it needs to help the grass stay dense and green.

Gather up the larger pieces of debris, place them in buckets as you go, and dispose of them in a trash can or yard waste container. It will make the next step, which is raking leaves into a pile, easier. A leaf blower may also be easier and more convenient to use.

2. Aerate Compacted Soil

Aeration is one of the keys to growing a healthy lawn. Poking small, tiny holes into the ground will loosen up compacted soil to help the grass breathe and absorb water and nutrients more efficiently. However, you have to consider several factors, like the grass type and weed control strategy, before deciding to aerate in early spring. If unsure, ask a trusted expert in lawn care near you when to aerate your lawn.

If your lawn will benefit from early spring aeration, include it in your lawn care checklist. You can leave the task to a professional or handle it yourself. Manual aeration often does the job for small to mid-sized lawns. But for lawns over half an acre, using more advanced equipment will be more efficient.

3. Test Your Soil Acidity Levels and Take Remedial Action When Needed

Your soil’s pH level may have changed over the winter. This change can happen for many reasons, like the presence of de-icing salts and an increase in soil organic matter. If the pH level is above or below 6 or 7, the grass will have difficulty absorbing available nutrients. That means your grass won’t benefit from fertilizers, which is why testing the soil pH level after winter is a critical part of spring lawn care.

Fortunately, testing the soil’s pH level is something any homeowner can do. There are three ways to test soil: a test kit, a digital soil tester, and sending a soil sample to a lab. Soil test kits are usually available in home improvement stores or garden centers, and they include detailed instructions on how to perform the test. On the other hand, digital soil testers can read pH levels quickly and are also available in garden centers.

But, to get a more accurate reading, send a soil sample to a local testing facility. Most university extension offices also offer soil testing services to the public. Just ensure that the soil does not come from problem areas.

If the soil pH test result goes outside the ideal range, it’s necessary to make amendments. Generally, you can apply sulfur to lower the pH and lime to raise it. Adding compost can also naturally correct the soil’s pH level.

4. Apply Weed Killer and Fertilizer for an Optimal Growing Environment

Fertilizers will supply essential nutrients for grass growth that the soil lacks, while weed killers will eliminate unwanted plants that may compete with grass for nutrients. But since each lawn is unique, the fertilizer and weed killer that will work will vary. If you’re wondering what to put on the lawn in early spring, the answer will depend on what’s in your lawn and its condition. An expert in lawn care can help you determine the fertilizer and weed killer that matches your lawn’s needs.

5. Reseed Any Bald Patches

Lawns may develop bald patches because of wintertime grass smothering or other issues like snow mold. Spring is a great time to reseed these bald patches because the grass will already be well-established before the hot summer months arrive.

Start by removing all dead grass from the spot and loosening the top six inches of soil with a rake or aerator. After adding compost or topsoil, level the area with a rake. Sow the seeds and gently rake them in. Water the patch afterward.

Make sure to perform proper maintenance to revive barren patches. Keep the soil moist, but don’t drown the seeds. Feed the lawn properly and monitor for issues. Also, ensure the products (pest control, weed killer, etc.) that you use won’t harm the new grass.

6. Get Rid of Pests

Pest control is also a critical part of lawn care in spring. A pest infestation can turn your green lawn into brown patches of grass struggling to survive. A crucial step to control lawn pests is to learn more about them. Get to know details like their appearance, life cycle, signs of damage, and how to get rid of them promptly and organically if possible.

Some of the most common lawn pests in Canada are present during the spring. For instance, in the early spring, sod webworms consume grass stems, blades, and upper root systems. Meanwhile, pests like white grubs usually start their damage in the fall but persist through spring.

If the early signs of pest infestation have already appeared on your lawn, you can:

  • Apply insecticides. Use them sparingly, though, as they can also harm helpful insects like bees and butterflies.
  • Nothing beats organic lawn care. So consider switching to natural solutions for pest control. Use organic, homemade remedies like apple cider vinegar, essential oils, onion, cloves, and basil. Just do your research first on which pests they affect and how to properly utilize them as pesticides.
  • Another completely organic way of eliminating pests is to biologically control them. In this method, you introduce natural pest killers to your lawn. For instance, ants prey on chinch bugs, and beneficial nematodes can combat various lawn pests like grubs and leatherjackets.

You can familiarize yourself with these pesky critters by reading gardening handbooks, websites discussing lawn pests, and other relevant materials. Alternatively, you can work with professionals in lawn care services to help you with your pest problem more effectively.

7. Strategically Adjust Mowing

Finally, don’t forget about mowing. It’s a crucial part of lawn care. We recommend mowing once every week at 2cm to 8cm tall and bagging the clippings if possible. Also, mow your lawn delicately the first time to avoid shocking and stressing out the grass.

Chances are, you haven’t used your lawnmower for a while. In this case, it’s necessary to fine-tune the equipment. Using a lawnmower with dull blades will hurt the grass and may make it susceptible to illness. Aside from sharpening your lawnmower’s blades, make sure the fuel tank is full, the filter is clean, and the equipment isn’t damaged.

We Can Help Your Lawn Bounce Back Easily This Spring!

Completing a spring lawn care checklist can be overwhelming. Whether you need help ticking off the tasks on your checklist or want to leave your lawn care needs to a professional, you can count on the LawnMart team. Our team knows how to help lawns bounce back in spring, and we’ll do it the natural way. And once your lawn finally returns to its green and lush state, you can count on our team to keep the grass in that condition.

Contact us for quality lawn care services for all seasons.