It’s that time of year to beautify your lawn so you can show it off all summer long. There are five steps that need to be started now so you can reap the rewards later.

The first task is not a fun one but one that is necessary and that is raking. Raking not only removes the dead grass but if you use a deep rake then you can remove the thatch as well. A thatch build up over 1/2 inch is excessive and needs to be removed. New grass can not penetrate thatch.

Aeration is the next step. When your yard becomes compact (due to high levels of traffic) it will start to decline. To revive your lawn, it is necessary to aerate. You can rent lawn aerators at a local rental center. If you are not experiencing severe compaction, it is recommened that you wait until spring to aerate.

Grass prefers a neutral soil PH. If you have high levels of acidity, you will need to spread lime. To determine the PH level of your soil, contact a professional lawn service and they will be happy to test your soil’s acidity (for a small fee, of course).

You need to overseed all the bare spots due to high traffic, “doggie spots”, and neglect. Spring is not the best time to overseed however if you want to fill in the bare spots it’s necessary. Apply a slow release nitrogen fertilizer when you overseed and approximately five weeks later (when you start to see the grass seedlings sprout) follow up with a quick release nitrogen fertilizer.

Last but not least, don’t forget to fertilize. You can fertilize your lawn organically by using compost and/or a mulching mower. Or, if you prefer to use chemicals, there are several professional lawn care companies out there would can set you up on a monthly schedule.

This may sound like a lot of work but each step happens at a different stage so it is managable (and fun) to do. You will be amazed at what a little bit of elbow grease can accomplish!