Spring Lawn Care Tips Checklist for Detroit, MI

Spring in Michigan starts each year rapidly, and temperatures climb from freezing to 50 degree weather. These warming temperatures typically start by mid-March, but frost continues into May. Residents in Detroit start to feel spring fever, ready to get out of their house and start gardening and working on their lawns. Detroit spring lawn care is tricky because it’s still too early for certain activities.

The weather in Detroit during the spring varies. Some days are warm with sunshine, but many days receive rainfall. The days slowly warm up, but sporadic snow storms last into April during some years. The unpredictability of spring makes lawn maintenance tricky. But we still got a spring lawn care activities checklist for you.

1. Rake Away Debris and Snow Mold

Lawns are far from beautiful before the beginning of spring. The cold winters of Michigan can leave destruction in its path. Temperatures can reach the negatives in Detroit, and homeowners might notice snow mold in their lawn, along with other debris.

Snow mold can be grey and pink, and it lives under the snow cover during wintertime. As the snow melts away, you will notice a matted look to the turf with a strange hue.

To clear up snow mold, lightly rake up loosen up the dead leaf tissue. This encourages soil warming. The warming temperature of springtime encourages the turf to recover faster. A spring fertilizer application can also help with snow mold.

2. Maintain Your Lawn Mower

Now is the time to work on your lawn mower. Sharpening the mower blades is important because it prevents the blades from tearing the grass blades. Tearing the blades can cause the grass to turn brown instead of that lovely lush green.

If it has been a few years, consider a mower tune-up. Lawn service companies can tune-up your mower easily, but you can also try to learn how to do so at home. 

3. Reseed Bare Spots

Perhaps spots of your lawn died during the last fall or winter, or the loads of de-icing salt you used may have killed the grass. Regardless of the reason for dying, spring is a good time to reseed dead areas in your lawn.

The temperatures increase the activity for grubs that might live in your soil. If grubs are responsible for the death of your grass, you should apply a grub insecticide one to two weeks before reseeding your grass.

Luckily, springtime in Detroit typically brings a lot of rainfall, but watch the weather once you seed the lawn. If it doesn’t rain, you will need to water the grass seeds. You also might want to lay mulch over the area, such as straw, to ensure the area stays moist.

4. Use a Fertilizer

Spring is a safe time to apply fertilizer, especially if you are reseeding your lawn. If you are laying new lawn, make sure to use a starter fertilizer that has a nitrogen to phosphorus ratio of 1:1 or 1:1.5. It's safe to apply a starter fertilizer at a rate of 1 pound nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.

Remember to follow the directions on the package. All fertilizers must be contained to the area that is seeded. Keep a minimum of 15 feet from any surface area during application.

If you aren’t laying new grass seed, be patient and wait until May to fertilize your lawn. Once the snow disappears, the ground is still frozen, and frost still lays on the ground until April or May. Fertilizing a frozen lawn isn’t smart because it won’t help green up your grass! Instead, the pellets wash away on frozen turf after rain storms.

5. Don't Apply Weed Killer

Don’t apply herbicides during the springtime especially if you have to reseed your lawn. Young grass seed doesn’t tolerate herbicides well, so the guidelines state that you should wait for three “real” mowing times or 60 days before you apply any herbicides.

Spring makes you anticipate the upcoming summer when temperatures are high, and backyard barbeques are in your future. As you prepare to take care of your lawn this spring, remember the tips listed above to achieve a lush, green lawn.

Need help preparing your lawn for spring? Visit our Detroit lawn care page to get in touch with a professional! In addition to Detroit, we provide lawn care services in other cities including Grand Rapids and Lansing.