6 Things You Need to Do for Your Lawn in April — Tasks to Tackle This Month for Healthy Spring Grass

These expert-recommended lawn care tasks will help you achieve a luscious carpet of greenery in your garden this spring

A garden with a green lawn, a grey path, and green shrubs in the border
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With spring at last in our midst, it's time to turn some attention toward your backyard. After a harsh season of neglect, your outdoor space is probably crying out for some TLC, not least of all your lackluster lawn.

According to professional gardeners, it's vital you tend to your turf this time of year. 'April is a critical month for lawn maintenance because it prepares the soil for summer growth by utilizing the rising soil temperature to promote robust root development,' says Matthew Wilson, lawn care specialist at Handy Gardeners.

So, before you can enjoy warm sunny days sprawled out on a luscious bed of grass, you'll need to carry out some essential lawn care jobs during this prime growing season. If you want your backyard to look bright and healthy throughout the rest of spring and beyond, here are six lawn care tasks to carry out in April.

1. Treat with a fertilizer

A garden in spring with a green lawn and tulips in the border

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fertilizing your lawn is a crucial lawn care task to carry out in April as it prepares your lawn for rapid growth during these warmer months. 'April is when you should apply your first round of fertilizer,' says Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO of Lawn Love. 'It’s the best month to start for both warm and cool-season grasses, though after April how often you should fertilize your lawn will vary.'

'For warm-season grasses you should apply round two of fertilizer in June and round three in September, while for cool-season grasses you should apply round two in early September and round three in late October,' he adds.

You can fertilize your lawn using liquid or granular feed, but Matthew Wilson of Handy Gardners recommends using a slow-release fertilizer. 'This can aid in the progression of the roots to healthy and robust lengths, making the grass ready for the hotter periods that come soon,' he says.

2. Aerate your lawn

Aerating a lawn

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Aerating your lawn is also essential in April. 'This process allows oxygen, water, and nutrients to penetrate built-up grass or lawn thatch, which can be detrimental to soil health,' explains Kenny Kwiatkowski, founder of Grass Hole System. 'I've found that lawns with compacted soil or heavy thatch cover are more susceptible to damage, including that which can be caused by mowers or trimmers. Aerating helps in preventing compaction, promoting root growth and improving drainage, making it a key step in spring lawn care.'

Matthew adds that soil decompression can often be caused by winter conditions, making April an especially good time to aerate your lawn. 'During this phase, roots develop better, soil structure is further improved, and the impact of the manufactured fertilizers is maximized, making the vegetation of the expected grade healthier and more resilient,' he says.

When it comes to how to aerate a lawn handheld aerators or shoe clamps work just as well as rolling machines if you have a small garden, but for larger areas, you might want to consider a rolling lawn aerator like this one, from Walmart.

3. Resume regular mowing (if you haven't already)

mowing lawn

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'April is usually the time of year when grass is ready for regular mowing in most areas of the country,' explains Ryan Farley CEO of Lawn Starter. 'Temperatures will have warmed up enough and grass should be tall enough to warrant weekly or so mowing.' So, for a tidy backyard or a front yard that delivers on curb appeal, be sure to resume regular mowing this month (if you haven't yet already).

'Starting your mowing routine in April sets the stage for the type of lawn you’ll enjoy during the summer,' adds Kenny. 'However, it's crucial not to cut the grass too short as this can stress the lawn and make it more prone to weeds and diseases.'

According to Matthew, mowing this time of year also promotes parallel blade growth which prevents the buildup of thatch. 'It's important to change the mowing height to accommodate the changed growth rate properly while keeping the grass at the desired height so that it well suits the particular grass specie,' he adds.

4. Up your watering routine 

A sprinkler on a lawn

(Image credit: Getty)

April can be a wet month for some, but it's also the month where we welcome some warmer weather, which will require an uptick in your watering routine. 'By making the lawn irrigation schedule for April comprehensive enough to ease high-temperature instances, you can produce a beautiful grass lawn,' says Matthew.'

When it comes to when to water your lawn, watering during the early morning is preferable. This is largely considered the optimal time of day by gardeners because the warmth of the sun won't evaporate the moisture too quickly. Failing that, watering your lawn in the evening is also a good idea. Be sure to use a sprinkler system like this one, from Target, if you don't already have an irrigation system to help penetrate your whole lawn.

5. Focus on weed control

brick lawn edging

(Image credit: Katarzyna Bialasiewicz/Getty Images)

While April is a prime month for grass growth, it's also the primary growing season for weeds, too. 'April tends to be too late for a pre-emergent weed killer, but you can certainly begin removing weeds you see cropping up during this month, either by pulling them by hand or by applying a post-emergent treatment,' says Ryan.

If it's still cool enough for a pre-emergent in your region (they should be applied before ground temperatures reach 55 degrees Fahrenheit) Matthew says it's the best way to remove weeds from a lawn and recommends applying early this month.

'April is a key time for weed preemption because the measures can prevent the propagation and spread of widely occurring weeds, such as dandelions and crabgrass, at the early stages of development,' he says. 'Utilizing the pre-emergent herbicides that prevent weeds from sprouting and germinating will help the lawn have its best-looking and healthiest appearance.'

6. Overseed as needed

A lawn with seeds

(Image credit: Alamy)

Overseeding is the process of adding new, improved grass seed into worn-out or damaged patches of your turf to improve its health and density. It's a super quick and easy task to carry out, but it could make all the difference to the overall look of your lawn.

'Watching or returfing areas of the lawn that have no grass or are just getting spotty wool in the spring will also be necessary to cover compacted soil or areas that were affected by winter,' notes Matthew. 'It should thus be started early in the month to cater for possible seed germination and to enable the seedlings to adjust, thus avoiding the heat of summer that might follow.'

Carry out these six expert-approved lawn tasks this April and you'll be on your way to the most luscious-looking lawn in no time, ready for spring and summer garden parties on your bright green grass!

Lilith Hudson
News Editor

Lilith Hudson is the News Editor at Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.