Perhaps the most visible sign that winter has passed and spring is at long last upon us are the changes we see in our yards. The straw colored grass turns green again, buds appear on trees, and flowers of crocus, daffodil and tulips splash color into the landscape. Every year these visible foreshadows to warmer months ahead spark a bit of excitement within me to get out in the yard. Here are a few things you can do in the spring to kick off the season.
Weed and Feed Your Lawn
As a kid I thought dandelions were pretty, but as an adult I have come to loathe these pesky weeds. Once you see them begin to rear their ugly heads, it is time to fight back. You can use either a spray formula which attaches to your hose, or granular which you apply with a push spreader. If you choose granular, the weeds need to be wet for it to stick, so application is best done on a dewy morning. Regardless of which method you choose, attacking weeds in the spring is key as they need to be actively growing to be affected. If you wait until the hot dry days of summer, it will likely be too late.
Clean Out Existing Flower Beds, Containers and Your Garden
If you are really on top of things, then perhaps you already did this in the fall, however for me that is unfortunately rarely the case. So take a walk around your yard and see what needs to be done. Are there any old annuals from the previous year sulking in your beds or containers? Pull them out, along with any weeds. Check your vegetable garden as well – some small leftovers can be mixed in with soil for nutrients, but anything of size needs to be removed.
Time to Mulch
Adding mulch to your landscape is not only attractive, but it is also important to minimize weeds, keep your soil moist and maintain a consistent temperature. Without mulch, beds would become hot, dry and drained of nutrients in the summer. The biggest problem that comes with mulching is overdoing it. Too much mulch can inhibit root growth and keep water and nutrients from reaching plant roots. Around trees, excessive mulch creates an environment which harbors insects or leads to trunk rot. So before you add a new layer of spring mulch, get rid of some of the old mulch. You don’t want to have any more than three inches of mulch.
Though these three steps for preparing your yard aren’t fun or flashy, getting them done in the early spring will set you up for more fun rewarding yard work in weeks to come. When the time arrives to plant flowers and a vegetable garden (which is dependent on where you live), the somewhat tedious work will be behind you, and you will be that much closer to creating a beautiful landscape.