Spring yard work mowing lawn.

Spring Yard Work Checklist

Updated February 3, 2021 . AmFam Team

Springtime is the season of birds chirping, green grass, bright flowers and, of course, yard work. As winter turns to spring, it's time to create your landscaping checklist — follow these tips to get your lawn looking clean, green and in full bloom!

One of the joys of spring is knowing that your lawn will finally be free of leaves and snow — springing back to life! That means it's time to create your landscaping checklist and prepare for yard work.

In just a weekend or two, you can have your front yard looking good as new! By prepping your yard, it will grow into a healthy and colorful lawn and garden. To get started, refresh your mowing and gardening tools, gather your lawn supplies and set aside some blocks of time. Once you make your way through our spring clean-up checklist, your home will reclaim its curb appeal status in no time.

Follow these spring landscaping tips to get your lawn and landscaping clean, green and in full bloom!

Early Spring: Assess and Prep

It might be slightly chilly out when you get started, but early preparation can set the stage for an easy spring clean-up. Get a head-start and tackle these tasks in late March and early April:

Prepare your tools and machines for work. Is your mower cleaned and blades sharpened? Do you have gas on hand? If you didn't have a chance to give it a once-over before you stored it for winter, you'll likely have some basic maintenance to do. If it's simple, like removing debris from the underside and hosing it down, you can probably do it on your own. You can also remove and wash or replace the air filter as needed. When performing this type of maintenance, be sure the gas tank is empty and that you wear protective gloves.

If you need to change out the spark plug or sharpen the blades, and you're not mechanically inclined, consider having it serviced at a local home improvement store.

Next, inspect your other gardening tools including clippers, trimmers and pruners to see if they need cleaning, sharpening or replacing. Once you've inspected your tools and equipment, you can decide if you need to replace any items or if your gear is ready for the season.

Do the first clean up. Ideally, wait until you're fairly sure that it won’t snow again, and then rid your lawn of any leftover fall and winter debris such as leaves and twigs. Give the lawn a good raking to remove excess thatch — the dead layer that sometimes forms in between the green part of the grass and the soil. Keep in mind that some thatch is normal for your lawn, but it can impede health growth if it gets too thick.

It's mowing time. To avoid damaging the roots, landscaping experts say you should wait until your grass is at least two inches tall before mowing. When the time comes, put on the right gear including safety goggles, closed shoes and long pants — get ready to mow!

Try to mow when the grass is dry for a more uniform cut. And set your mower to mow high so you don't take off too much.

Late Spring: Plant and Maintain

After the threat of frost has passed, there are few more items to add to your spring landscaping checklist. Toward the end of April or beginning of May, you can begin adding some finishing touches to your yard and even start your summer vegetable garden!

Plants. If you didn't get around to planting your spring bulbs, such as tulips, in the fall, there's still time in early spring. For bulbs that flower during the summer months, like gladiolus and dahlias, spring is the ideal time to do the planting. If you're not sure about which plants flourish when, speak with an expert at your local nursery to see what they recommend for your area.

Vegetables. If you want to grow a vegetable garden, get plants that need to start indoors into pots so they'll be ready to plant outside when the weather warms up. Other plants like lettuce, carrots and beans can be planted directly into the ground later.

Move to a regular mowing and watering schedule. Grass will begin growing more rapidly once the season moves into early summer, so be sure to stay on top of mowing. Watering is important, especially on hot, sunny days, but rainy days will get you off the hook — let the weather be your guide.

Keeping your front yard in tip-top shape isn’t a once-a-month kind of activity — it takes dedication! By working through this spring lawn and landscaping checklist, you can slowly begin to put the cold dreary days of winter behind you. And once your well-manicured, bright green grass and beautiful blooms begin to grow, you can sit back and admire your handiwork all summer long.

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