If you have a really terrible looking lawn but you also want to make it significantly better in just a single month (or even less) then try implementing these three simple strategies – really this will take you a very long way very quickly in your lawn repair project.
You should keep in mind that this is the tip of the iceberg – if you want the best lawn possible then you can really take a deep trip down the rabbit hole if you like but I know that most people don’t actually want to do that so let’s summarize the basics and then I’ll explain a bit more about them in the second part of this guide.
Fixing A Lawn In Spring (Quickly)
In the month of April almost all parts of the country start seeing warmer days and everyone starts getting a lot more sun than just a month or two prior.
Grass everywhere starts greening up naturally and the weeds starting to sprouting so this is what we do if we want to keep things simple.
First of all we need to bust out our granular lawn spreader or go buy one. The cheapest handheld varieties can usually be purchased for less than $20 at just about any big box store close to your house while the entry level wheeled spreaders can usually be purchased at those same stores for just a bit more.
Here is a fancy handheld Scott’s Whizz spreader on Amazon. It’s not the cheapest option but it’s close and it can be purchased online at places like Amazon or just about any big box store that’s close to your home.
I use the Scotts Élite Spreader with Edge Guard. It’s more expensive than the handhelds or basic broadcast spreaders but not by much and the Edge-Guard is worth paying a few bucks more for. You can price that out over on Amazon as well through this link.
Curious what the difference is between a broadcast spreader and a drop spreader is? You can see this article on this website for a complete description.
I run this entire enterprise, as well as a lawn care YouTube channel, and I use a very inexpensive plastic spreader – you don’t need anything fancy.
1. Apply a Weed Preventer (Pre-Emergent)
Now assuming you get or already own a spreader then you will want to buy a cheap bag of weed preventer – make sure there is no fertilizer in the bag.
We’re going to spread this as evenly as we can across the lawn in early to mid-April to prevent the germination of many weeds that start getting out of control by the end of Spring.
Ideally we prevent them now so we don’t have to deal with them or kill them off later; both of which are harder to do.
I am currently using Anderson’s Barricade DG on my lawn in the early spring. You can price that out on Amazon here.
You can also see my full post comparing all the best weed pre-emergent options for lawns.
2. Apply an Organic Lawn Fertilizer
Once our weed preventer is spread on the lawn it’s a good idea to apply an organic granular fertilizer at a high rate on the same day.
Organic fertilizers break down slowly in the soil feeding the grass at sustained rates over longer periods of time. Assuming you actually try to evenly spread the fertilizer across your lawn you are likely to see solid results quickly without burning, striping, or any negative outcomes.
The best organic fertilizer for beginners is probably Milorganite because it is cheap and widely available in big box stores across the nation. I will use it on my lawn but probably not as much as some other granular organic fertilizers that have better NPK ratios. You can see my favorite organic fertilizers along with my thoughts on each of them on over on this page.
3. Mow The Lawn Twice Every Week
If you are taking these steps in Spring then your lawn will naturally start growing a lot and then the fertilizer we put down will kick that growth into overdrive. You’ll want to mow twice a week during this phase, never letting the grass get over grown.
You probably already own a lawn mower but in case you don’t I personally have gone battery only. In fact I own a lot of high end battery lawn mowers. You can see my reviews of thesetypes of mowers on the following pages:
Parting Thoughts on This Process
The important thing to keep in mind here is that even if it looks like you have very little grass the fertilizer we put down will make that grass get thicker and for many grass types it will make that grass spread horizontally causing it to start making empty spots in the lawn fill in.
When paired with the weed pre-emergent no weeds will be able to take over the bare spots because we’ve fully prevented them from emerging.
If some weeds already exist in the lawn they won’t take kindly to getting cut every 3-4 days. Most weeds won’t die by getting cut back regularly but they will be suppressed whereas grass responds in the opposite.
When you trim grass back the grass is actually stimulated to grow more – and over time that grass gets healthier and thicker making it even harder for any existing weeds to thrive.
It can be tempting to try and kill weeds or put grass seed down on bare patches but doing these things well is challenging for even seasoned lawn care enthusiasts – there are lots of things that can complicate the process.
To keep things simple just follow these three steps. In only one month you could have a pretty good looking lawn compared to where you started by simply watching this video.
If You Want To Go Down The Rabbit Hole
Now if you want to learn more about how to go the rest of the way – to start the journey to repairing your lawn all the way – to making your lawn the best lawn on the block then I’ve got two videos already produced for you.
The first video is a 20-min summary of all the basic lawn tips you need to up your game in the lawn during the spring.
The second one is my full length Spring Lawn Care guide – it’s a meaty 40-min video that goes in depth on a ton of more advanced topics and techniques.
And if you are reading all of this in the summer, fall, or winter then you should know that I have videos that cover some of the more advanced topics relevant to those times of year too over on my YouTube channel.
For simplicity though you can seriously just head down to your local big box store and buy enough Milorganite to cover your lawn in the early Spring. Milorganite will feed it for approximately 9-10 weeks at full bag rate. You can also pick up enough Scotts WeedEx to cover your lawn to prevent late Spring and summer weeds for approximately 13-15 weeks or so.
WeedEx uses pendimethalin which doesn’t have the longest lasting coverage but it can make overseeding in the fall an option because it won’t work long enough to interfere with that process.
WeedEx can also be bought on Amazon, of course, you can price it out through this Amazon affiliate link.
That’s the basics of what you need but there’s always better products to use. You can see more info on the products I love and recommend on my product recommendations page here.