6 April lawn care tasks guaranteed to give you beautiful grass come summer

Simple steps to boost the appearance and health of your lawn this month

Collecting clippings from mowing the grass in a spring garden
(Image credit: Getty Images/Paul Biris)

April is an ideal month to help give your lawn a new lease of life. A full season of wear and tear, followed by the colder winter months, can take its toll on any lawn and yours may require some TLC.

Tasks like aerating and scarifying are fantastic lawn care jobs to boost the health of a lawn while tackling moss, dealing with bare patches, and putting in a neat edge can smarten its appearance.

Work put in during spring can make a difference to the look for the season ahead. I led on turf maintenance in gardens I worked in, and a lot of effort was put in during these months to get our lawns in top shape. It meant they not only looked at their finest for visitors but could cope with the wear and tear in the warmer months ahead.

large lawn area surrounded by flower beds

(Image credit: Steffen Hauser/Botanikfoto/Alamy Stock Photo)

6 steps to a stunning lawn to start in April

Any good spring lawn care regime should see you spike the grass, remove accumulated thatch, and fertilize the lawn to improve the health of the grass. Start working on your lawn after the frost has ended in your US hardiness zone and it will benefit the grass as it starts growing again. 

On top of those three key lawncare jobs, we look at six other tasks to add to your spring gardening checklist that can be effective steps to give your grass a makeover and get a beautiful lawn come summer. 

1. Mow when dry

mowing lawn

(Image credit: Jan Hakan Dahlstrom / Stone / Getty Images)

There is no right answer about how often to mow a lawn in April, it will depend on your location, the climate, the type of grass, and how you maintain your lawn. 

However, if you are starting to mow the lawn in spring or have already given it a trim or two, there are some factors to consider about whether to get that lawn mower out. That is on top of remembering to cut at a higher mower height in spring than you will mow at later in the season.

You should not mow wet grass this month, as it can cause extensive damage. Lots of rain will cause the grass to grow and you may have the urge to mow it, but taking the mower out when the grass is wet can damage the grass blades, make uneven cuts, and leave the lawn at risk of fungal problems, as well as damaging your mower. 

If the grass is wet due to rain, let it dry naturally before mowing. Even if the lawn is damp from dew on a spring morning, it is best to wait until it dries off in the afternoon and then mow.

2. Remove moss

removing moss from a lawn

(Image credit: Future)

If you have had a wet winter and spring you may find that your lawn contains a lot of moss and April can be an ideal time to try to get rid of moss in lawns

Aerating and scarifying are two ways to help relieve compaction and remove dead thatch from the grass, improving air circulation through the lawn and discouraging moss from spreading. 

Dethatching a lawn using a spring tine rake - an essential garden tool - can bring out a lot of thatch and moss and is an ideal method if you have a small backyard. A mechanical scarifier may be required for a large lawn. 

The alternative to tackling moss by hand is to apply a moss killer to the lawn. Apply the product according to the manufacturer's recommendation and the moss in the lawn will turn black - and will need raking out a few weeks after applying the moss killer.

3. Fix bare patches

Overseeding a lawn by hand

(Image credit: Alamy Stock Images/Enis72)

You may have bare patches in grass that need repairing in April, either due to last year’s wear and tear or lawn diseases such as snow mold or dollar spot that can hit in winter and spring. 

April is a great month to plant grass seed and overseed a lawn in spring, as the weather tends to be mild and the ground moist. Overseeding can help to fill those bare patches and help make a lawn green and thick for the summer. 

Mow the lawn before overseeding and remove thatch or dead grass from the area with a rake. You can apply a starter fertilizer designed to be used along with seeding, before gently broadcasting your chosen fast-growing grass seed over the area and raking it in. Keep the area moist and the seeds should germinate quickly.

4. Define the edges

marking out the edge of a flower bed with string

(Image credit: mediasculp / Alamy Stock Photo)

Every lawn looks better with a sharp and well-defined edge, it is a smart way to separate the grass from other backyard elements such as a flower bed, patio or vegetable garden. No matter what shape your lawn is, putting in an edge not only looks smart but can also make tasks such as mulching beds and borders easier. 

To edge a lawn, mark out your edge and use an edging tool to cut into the turf as you work along the chosen line. Using a wooden board as you move along edging helps keep any line straight. Collect the removed pieces of turf to add to your home compost bin. 

With your new edge established, remember to regularly trim along it with a pair of edging shears to keep the vertical edge looking sharp. Once you have an edge, you could add some decorative lawn edging that fits the style of your garden landscaping.

5. Level any bumps

House and landscaped backyard with shaped lawn

(Image credit: Mint Images / Getty Images)

Lawns can develop bumps and undulations through usual wear and tear. While minor, these issues can make mowing more difficult and uneven. You may miss some sections and leave long grass in one area and scalp other parts - which won’t look good. 

April represents a good window to level a lawn by mowing and dethatching before spreading a mix of sand, compost, and topsoil, to the uneven area and raking it level with the rest of the lawn. Once the mix has settled and you have a flat level, sow grass seed over the area and keep moist.

6. Tackle weeds

killing lawn weeds

(Image credit: JJ Gouin / Alamy Stock Photo)

Some homeowners do not mind weeds in their lawns, while many see them as unwanted intruders who blemish their dreams of a pristine lawn. If you fall into the latter category, getting on top of weeds in spring can help prevent the weed population from accumulating and those pesky weeds from taking over your lawn. 

It may sound painstaking, but large tap-rooted perennial weeds such as dandelions and thistles are best removed by hand. A garden fork or knife will be required to get down deep enough to remove the complete root, as simply taking the top of the weed will cause it to resprout. 

If that sounds like too much effort, a broadleaf post-emergent herbicide designed to kill weeds but not grass can be used against weeds already in the lawn. Applying a pre-emergent herbicide can prevent more weeds from sprouting and getting established, while weed and feed products can deal with unwanted plants and provide nutrients to the grass.


Should I scarify my lawn in April? 

When it comes to when to scarify a lawn, April can be a good month to do the task. Your lawn will benefit from getting dead material and thatch removed. It boosts air circulation and allows more water and nutrients to get down to the roots. It can be beneficial to mow before scarifying and you can choose to use a garden rake or an electric scarifier to do the job.

Is April too late to fertilize a lawn? 

April can be a good month to fertilize your lawn for spring if the lawn is full of cool-season grasses that start to grow earlier than warmer-season grasses. Wait until the grass is growing in early-to-mid spring and the soil temperatures reach around 55ºF. 

One task that may not be required this month is watering. When it comes to watering a lawn in spring, rainfall can often suffice and provide all the moisture needed. Too much watering early in the year can result in a lawn with shallow roots or an increased growth of fungi. It may be that unless you live in a warm climate and have a particularly hot April you won’t need to water this month.

Drew Swainston
Content Editor

Drew’s passion for gardening started with growing vegetables and salad in raised beds in a small urban terrace garden. He has gone on to work as a professional gardener in historic gardens across the UK and also specialise as a kitchen gardener growing vegetables, fruit, herbs, and cut flowers. That passion for growing extends to being an allotmenteer, garden blogger, and producing how-to gardening guides for websites. Drew was shortlisted in the New Talent of the Year award at the 2023 Garden Media Guild Awards.