With spring approaching and all the cleaning to do, it might be tempting to ignore the garden. Even if it’s still not quite warm weather yet, there are plenty of tasks to tackle now that will pay dividends in just a few weeks. Let’s look at a few productive tasks that will get your beautiful garden going strong.
If you still have snow on the ground, it’s not yet time to get out there and get dirty. But you can go over your plan for the coming season. Will you tackle major projects? Hire professionals for maintenance or installation?
Ask your neighbors which companies do good work and give them a call so you can get on their list. Spring is incredibly busy for reputable pros, so act as soon as you can.
Related Topic: Lawn Overseeding and Seeding Service
Spring-Time Lawn Inspection
One of the best ways to start planning ahead as spring approaches is to consider what your lawn needs when the weather starts to warm up. Does your grass have bare patches, or areas that look unhealthy? Those might need a bit of overseeding to fill in. It’s best to do that when the soil temperature rises above 50°F, as grass seed needs a certain soil temp to germinate.
Bare spots could be a fungal problem that requires spraying. You can do it yourself, or you can call a pro who can diagnose the problem and treat it correctly. This problem is best viewed as a maintenance problem; you can control fungal problems, but you’ll never eliminate them. Dry climates typically experience fewer fungal problems, but not all the time.
If your lawn shows evidence of fungi, weeds, and other pests, the best defense is a strong offense. That means being proactive and optimizing the overall health of your garden so pests can’t get much of a hold. Healthy plants typically resist pests just fine. Insect pests, in particular, usually go where the plants are less healthy.
One easy task you can tackle at any time is a light raking of the turf. A steel-tine rake seems to work better for this. Just go over the yard lightly so the tines can loosen any material that’s not rooted into the soil. This action will lightly scuff the soil and remove dead grass, as well as pull up twigs and other debris. If your raking dislodges a lot of debris, collect it and dispose of it.
Other tasks you can accomplish before warm weather arrives include ordering bulbs, seeds, plants, and vegetables. Buy from a reputable grower and you can’t go wrong. They’ll have a solid warranty and that’s crucial because plants are perishable. Sometimes they die for no apparent reason. But high-quality stock and give your plants attentive care leads to success most of the time.
Tree Health Is Crucial
If the snow is gone, or you don’t have to endure it at all, take a walk around and see if you can notice something new. When the leaves are gone from the plants, for example, it’s so much easier to have a close look at all components of the garden. Do any trees have broken limbs or twigs? How about the shrubs? Trees and shrubs provide the structure for your landscape, and when healthy and well-cared-for, don’t take much effort.
Related Topic: Can You Plant Trees in Winter?
Tree trimming can be a different sort of task, however, from other garden chores. It’s dangerous, for one thing, and requires equipment, fitness, and knowledge. Arborists and tree pros have extensive expertise that includes spotting many types of unsafe conditions. Tree limbs, for example, might look fine to you but an arborist can see that they will obstruct a power line in the future.
Or there could be some bark damage that indicates an underlying problem with your trees. What if a tree produced more seeds or cones than is typical? That could indicate that it’s stressed and needs help. Preventative tree maintenance is one of the smartest ways to be proactive with your home, as you may spot a problem while it’s cheap and easy to fix, instead of needing to spend thousands of dollars for professional removal. Tree pros have all the tools needed to wisely and safely handle any problems they encounter.
Pruning is often easiest in winter and early spring, as well. Without leaves, you can see where branches clash and should be trimmed. Many deciduous plants become overgrown over time. Their branching is too dense and some judicious pruning provides room for healthy growth. Pruning may also head off fungal diseases caused by overcrowded foliage. You’ll need pruners, loppers, and shears for this work. Are yours sharp, oiled, and ready? Now’s the time!
Late winter and early spring are the perfect time for getting flower beds prepped. If leaves have blown into your yard, you can rake them now and get rid of them, or use them for compost, which is the perfect soil additive. It’s wise to inspect the mulch layer; does it need a top-dressing or more? Organic mulches like wood chips and bark benefit from a light raking. You can use your leaf rake, a garden rake, or a handy small rake or cultivator for tight spots.
Your vegetable garden can use some attention, too. In addition to preparing seedbeds, you can start early vegetables like seed potatoes, and start herbs like parsley and basil.
It’s not too early to get started on this year’s flower bed. If you need some help, contact The Grounds Guys, who can advise you on your trees, shrubs, and lawn projects.