Getting your mower ready: Start the lawn-care season by taking care of your mower. Bring in your mower for service in early spring. This helps you beat the rush so your mower is in tip-top shape right when you need to use it. Be sure to sharpen the blade at least once a year.
Start your lawn from seed: Though fall is the best time to start a new lawn from seed, you can also do it in spring. Don't wait for late spring; your lawn needs to get established before summer heats up.
Stop crabgrass: Crabgrass and other annual weeds need to grow from seed each year, so a well-timed application of pre-emergence herbicide can stop them in their tracks. Spread the pre-emergence herbicide as forsythia blooms in your area start to drop.
Aerate your lawn: If your lawn doesn't grow well because of hard, compacted soil, aerate it in spring (when your grass is actively growing).
Start mowing: Bring out the lawn mower when your grass grows about 3 inches tall. Keep most grasses at least 2 inches tall -- this height helps the grass ward off weeds and withstand summer drought.
First feeding: If you feed your lawn a couple of times a year, a light application of lawn food in early spring will help get your grass off to a great start. Keep it light and use a slow-release or organic fertilizer. Wait to fertilize until your lawn needs mowing for the first time. Feeding your lawn too early is just a waste of money.
Continued on page 2: Fall