April has arrived and after all the snow we’ve seen this winter, most of us are ready to welcome the rain showers with hopeful thoughts of May flowers. Your lawn has taken a beating over the past six months and April is an excellent month to tackle your backyard maintenance. Here are some great tips to help you get your lawn in optimal growing form!

A healthy lawn is a happy lawn

Raking is the first step to a healthy lawn this year. Even if you raked last fall, your lawn has developed a layer of “thatch” over the winter – it’s the dead vegetation between the healthy grass and the soil. A deep raking will pull up the thatch, allowing for a thicker, healthier spring lawn.

With the first signs of new spring growth and plants coming back to life, you can be sure a variety of weeds are also lurking. As soon as the soil is thawed – even a couple of weeks before the last frost – you can start cultivating the surface soil in areas prone to weed growth. Pull weeds as soon as they appear – it’s often easier to pull them in the spring because the ground is damp and soft.

Finally, if you’ve never aerated before your lawn might be crying out for help. Aeration is needed when the soil becomes so compacted over time that water and nutrients have a difficult time making their way down to the grass roots. Aeration involves the removal of small plugs of soil using….an aerator, of course! The plugs of soil are left on the surface of your lawn and will eventually work their way back into the dirt. For small lawns, you can buy or rent a manual aerator. Power aerators are also available for rent or purchase. To save some money, ask your neighbours if they want to share the cost with you and pretty soon the whole neighbourhood will have healthy, green lawns!