Spring Lawn Care for Southern Lawns

Spring is the perfect time to build a better, greener lawn.

Starting lawn maintenance in spring helps get your grass growing green and strong for the rest of the year. If you’re in the south, start in the early spring with some cleanup. “Wake up” the lawn by applying fertilizer and mowing the grass in mid-spring to encourage growth. By late spring, you’re ready for seeding. These steps for spring lawn care will help strengthen your grass so you can enjoy a lush, green yard.

Early Spring

When the winter storms end and temperatures begin to rise, it’s time to start preparing your lawn for the year ahead. Get ready for the coming months with a little clean up and start creating a plan for your yard.

  1. Get your mower ready: Give your mower a tune-up so it’s ready for mowing season. Clean your mower thoroughly and do any maintenance needed, like replacing parts. This is also a good time to change the oil and fill up the gas tank. Finally, sharpen the mower blades to ensure a clean cut.
  2. Clean debris: Winter might have left your yard littered with debris like branches, twigs, and rocks. Removing debris provides fewer opportunities for pests and lets more sunlight reach the grass and soil.
  3. Rake: Once you’ve cleared the big stuff, rake up leaves and smaller debris. Using the rake, loosen up dead grass and dirt. This will make it easier for your soil to receive light, water, and nutrients.
  4. Make notes: It’s not quite time for fertilizer or seeding, but make note of any areas in the yard that need extra maintenance, or if your whole lawn could use a green-up. This will help you determine the right type and amount of supplies needed for later in the season.


As the warm-up becomes consistent in mid-spring, your grass starts getting ready to grow…and so do weeds. Take action to help your lawn grow and prevent weeds once temperatures are consistently above 65°F.

  1. Wake the lawn: Feeding your lawn with fertilizer or lawn food gives the grass the signal that it’s growing time. You can begin fertilizing once your lawn has fully greened up (this may be early Spring in some areas). Using a combined pre-emergent weed killer and fertilizer not only helps the lawn green up, but prevents weeds before they can start growing. Scotts® Turf Builder® Bonus S Southern Weed & Feed is an excellent choice for many Southern lawns and grasses.
  2. Mowing: When the grass gets tall enough, start mowing at the highest recommended setting for your grass. Mowing promotes horizontal as well as vertical growth, which helps thicken your lawn. Cutting high allows the grass to grow stronger roots and thicker blades that shade the soil to prevent weed growth.

Late Spring

In the South, it’s best to wait to seed your yard until air temperatures are consistently between 70°F and 90°F. The current condition of your lawn will determine the type and amount of seed you need.

1. Whatever your seeding needs, Scotts® has you covered: 

2. After you’ve seeded, keep your lawn growing strong!

  • Newly seeded lawns: After 6 to 8 weeks, you can begin a fertilizer program. Check the label instructions and follow them carefully. Mow two or three times before using weed control with fertilizer on a newly seeded lawn.
  • Established lawns: Two fertilizer applications in spring will help crowd out weeds and strengthen your lawn. Scotts® Turf Builder® Southern Triple Action is a three-in-one weed and feed product for Southern lawns that also prevents fire ants for up to 6 months. Read your fertilizer’s label and follow the instructions carefully. Typically, you need to wait 6-8 weeks between fertilizer applications.

Enjoy Your Lawn

Once you’ve taken these smart lawn care steps in the spring, get ready to enjoy a beautiful yard all year! Keep mowing, and stay on the lookout for signs of damage, weeds, and pests. If you do see signs of damage during the summer months, consider Scotts® Turf Builder® Healthy Plus Lawn Food to get your grass back on track. Even though lawn maintenance is an ongoing process, starting early with good habits will pay off in less work for the rest of the year.