It’s time for outdoor spring cleaning! I’m sharing our spring lawn care guide and how we take care of the exterior of our home and prepare to enjoy it this summer!
Spring lawn care is the most important you’ll do in your yard all year. Taking the time to care for your lawn early in the year will set you up for multiple seasons of beauty. It will also help you have *less* work later! This is also the time to tackle outdoor spring cleaning! As the weather warms up, you’ll want to spend more time outdoors. I prefer to do one big cleaning day and tackle all our outdoor cleaning and maintence at once! This means a LOT of power washing!
Spring Lawn Care Guide
Areate the lawn
Every few years we hire a company to aerate our lawn. This is something we technically could do ourselves but we decided it wasn’t worth it to invest in the equipment. The company that comes out has a huge machine and takes care of our 5000 square foot lawn in just a few minutes. It’s important to aerate your lawn every few years because as time passes the soil becomes more and more compacted. Aerating relieves soil compacting and allows water, fertilizer, and air to reach you lawns root system. Very important for a healthy lawn!
Dethatching the lawn
Our St. Augustine lawn has a lot of thatch build up so we have started dethatching regularly . Different grasses don’t need it as often. A good time for dethatching the lawn is after it’s grown enough to need mowing. I live in Zone 9a and we do this mid to late spring. Just make sure your lawn is actively growing. You’ll want to remove about 1/3 of the grass blades.
After you’ve mowed, it’s time to use your dethatcher. Because we’re using it every year I went ahead and invested in one from Amazon. The rest of my lawn care equipment is from Ryobi but they didn’t have one when I was in the market to purchase. I suggest getting with a friend or neighbor and swapping equipment. My friend owns a tiller, so we’re able to just trade each spring and we each only had to buy one piece of equipment! Win Win!
The detacher is easy enough to use: just plug it in and walk behind it. It will self propel as it spins and pulls up all that old dead grass. Just make sure you DO NOT pull it backward as you can scalp your lawn!
After you’re done detaching the yard, run the mower with the bag on over it. This will help you pick up quite a bit of that pulled up thatch. Then you have to rake. It’s quite a bit of work but I promise it’s worth it!
After you’ve detached your yard, you’ll notice it looks pretty ugly! But now when you fertilize and water, all the nutrients your lawn needs can get down to the roots. You’ll have a healthy, lush, green lawn in no time!
Fertilizing the lawn
After mowing and dethatching, it’s time to fertilize! I live in Houston, TX (Zone 9a) and here’s my lawn fertilizing schedule:
Early Spring: SCOTTS HALTS CRABGRASS
Late Spring: TURF BUILDER
Summer: TURF BUILDER
Fall: TURF BUILDER BONUS S
In order to maintain our lawn in the hot Texas summers, we installed a sprinkler system for our yard. We setup our sprinkler to run based on WaterMyYard.org recommendations. You fill in your sprinkler zone information and it gives you weekly information on sprinkler run times as to not waste water. This page is from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and may not serve your area so look to your local resources.
As part of our spring lawn care, we also check and test each of our sprinkler zones and make sure everything is working properly and no adjustments are needed. Check your sprinkler heads regularly to ensure you’re watering productively and aren’t causing too much runoff.
This tool makes pulling up weeds so much easier! You can see it in action in my video and you can buy it here.
Now that your lawn is healthy and ready for spring, it’s time to tackle those flowerbeds! When our home was leased, our flowerbeds got out of control! We had a ton of weeds and had to spend many, many hours cleaning them. After getting rid of the weeds and old mulch I put down weed barrier where it was missing and replaced in the beds that needed replacement.
I then replanted our annuals, cleaned up the perennials, and put down new mulch! Don’t skip the weed barrier or the mulch! The barrier really helps cut down on weeds and the mulch will help keep your plants hydrated all summer as well as protect from that hot summer sun!
Trimming Trees and Bushes
We usually have to trim our bushes about twice each year and also maintain our crepe myrtle trees ourselves. Our larger trees are trimmed as needed every 2-4 years. We live in Houston and have to make sure this is done each year before hurricane season! Spring is a great time to check on your trees and cut back any that could potentially damage yours or your neighbors home as well as remove any that interfere with power lines. I’d much rather handle this myself then wait for the utility company to come out and quickly hack up our trees!
Outdoor Spring Cleaning
This is my favorite part of spring cleaning: using my pressure washer to CLEAN EVERYTHING! I like to do this AFTER all my spring lawn care is taken care of because that usually causes my porches and driveway to get super dirty. I use my Pressure Washer to wash from the roof down! I start by clearing everything off.
Once I’ve removed the patio furniture I start by cleaning them and leaving them in the sun to dry. I also wash my exterior rugs at this time. I then clean the exterior of my home and the windows. Once this is done, I move on to the patios Last, I clean the driveway. I usually clean the patios about twice a year, but the driveway only once a year to every other year. Just depends on how dirty it gets! This year we had a huge pile of soil delivered and it left a massive dirty spot – so that’s on my spring cleaning to do list!
Exterior Home Maintenance
While you’re in cleaning mode, this is also a great time to check out the exterior of your home. Are all the windows and screens still in good shape? Do you notice any holes or cracks that need patched? Check your foundation for signs of shifting and make note of any thing you might need to keep an eye on. I also like to touch up paint at this time – especially on my painted front and back door!
After checking on your windows and repacing any screens you need to, do a through check of all your doors. It may be time to replace your weather stripping! Our garage door was in desperate need of a new door seal and it made a HUGE difference on the amount of water, dirt, and bugs that could get in! We now have an electric car that gets charged in there each night and want to make sure it’s as weatherproofed as possible.
Spring is the perfect time to check on all your outdoor equipment before you bring them out to use. You can uncover your grill and give it a good cleaning before your first BBQ (I have a great trick to clean your grill quickly and easily!). This is also a GREAT time to switch away from all your gas powered lawn equipment.
We’ve been making both large and small changes around our home in order to lower our carbon footprint. With the help of Ryobi Tools, we replaced all our gas powered lawn equipment with battery powered ones. The mower turns on at the push of a button, the string trimmer is the easiest I’ve ever loaded, and the blower is so quiet I can use it anytime without disturbing the neighbors. We’re saving both time and money by switching to electric (no need to purchase gasoline, mix up fuels, or maintain). But we’re also saving the planet! Our new lawn equipment is clean with zero carbon emissions!
Shop Battery Powered Lawn Equipment
This is of course not an exhaustive list. As any homeowner knows: the repairs are never ending! But our spring lawn care guide as well as my outdoor spring cleaning routine should at least give you a great place to start! By following these steps, you’ll have a beautiful lawn and garden and a well maintained home!
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