I am sure by now, you have started to scratch a few things on your “Honey Do” list for the spring. You’ve got to sharpen your favorite tools, prepare for the blooming bulbs and early flowering shrubs and defend against crab grass. But you know me. We can’t stop there.
Keep that garden blooming by keeping a seasonal journal of its progress. Get rid of the winter debris and look for pruning prospects.
Seasonal photo shoot
I always recommend taking seasonal pictures of your landscape. Stand in the same spot and shoot a picture of the front of your house, the back of your house and the front of other focal points in your yard. Do this right now, then do it again in May, July and October. You can compare the pictures from season to season and see where you need to fill in the bare spots and prune out the overgrown areas.
If you are lacking blooms in the spring, add early flowering shrubs like forsythia, lilac, magnolia or redbud. Get some bulbs in the ground this fall to spring up early next year.
We have had a few warm days and it has drawn many people from their winter hibernation armed with rakes. Go over your lawn with a regular leaf rake to pull up the leaves, sticks, candy bar wrappers, cups and other garbage that have floated on the sea of snowdrifts over the last few months.
Take your time and do a thorough job. By lightly raking the lawn, you are also helping the turf shed some of the blades that have been damaged over the winter. Shady spots that still have snow are prime locations for snow mold to grow. After the snow melts away on those areas, rake them thoroughly and fertilize to help the turf grow quickly.
Fill low spots with clean topsoil and prepare to sprinkle it with new grass seed once the soil warms up in a few weeks. You can treat your lawn with crab grass control right now before the weeds start to seed. But remember, the pre emergent herbicide will kill all seeds and that includes new grass seed. If you are planning on reseeding your lawn or just spots, avoid applying crab grass preventative in those areas.
Now, turn your attention on your flower and vegetable beds. Collect any big chunks of compost debris that didn’t break down over the winter. Clean any leaves and sticks out of the shrubs. Use a garden rake or small hand rake to clean the beds around the perennials.
Clip off any dead stems from the winter. Cut the dry ornamental grasses down to the ground. Pull out any root clumps left over from last years annuals.
If you have a vegetable garden, don’t turn the soil over until it is warmer and dry. Tilling the soil when it is too wet can cause more problems. Toss on another layer of composted manure and till that in when the soil warms up in a few weeks.
While you are sharpening your favorite spade and trowel, don’t forget to sharpen your pruning tools. Take a look at the shrubs and trees in your yard and prepare to get them in tip top shape. If you have a shrub that has gone way beyond its boundaries and needs more than a trim, you might need to shape over a few seasons. We will have even more tips and tricks on pruning next week.
Contact Kelly Heidbreder at firstname.lastname@example.org