Note: Lawns may not be economically or environmentally responsible in many areas of the Mountain West and High Plains. Check with your county's cooperative extension service to find out if a lawn makes sense in your area.
Get your mower ready: First things first: Take care of your mower. Service it in early spring; you'll beat the rush and your mower will be ready when you need to start cutting your grass. It's easily overlooked, but don't forget to sharpen the mower's blade at the start of every season. A sharp blade will keep your lawn healthy and looking good.
Prevent annual weeds: Stop crabgrass and other annuals weeds with a well-timed application of pre-emergence herbicide. Spread the pre-emergence herbicide as forsythia blooms start to drop.
Aerate compacted soil: If your lawn doesn't grow well because of hard, compacted soil, aerate in spring. This loosens the soil, allowing grass roots to reach deeper and the soil to absorb moisture better.
Mow your grass: Take out the lawn mower once your grass reaches about 3 inches tall. Cool-season grasses typically do best when cut after they get more than 2 inches tall -- this helps the grass ward off weeds and withstand summer drought. Just be sure you don't stress your lawn by taking off more than one-third of the leaf length in one mowing.
Fertilize: A light application of fertilizer will help get your lawn off to a great start. Don't overdo it; select a slow-release or organic fertilizer. Feed your lawn when you need to mow it for the first time in spring. Don't feed it earlier.