Spring Is the Prime Time to Improve Your Lawn and Garden

Spring is one of the most critical times of the year when your lawn needs some extra well-timed care so you can be sure to enjoy it all spring and summer long. These beginning-of-the-season maintenance tips will help you make the most of the planting season while getting your lawn and garden ready for the months when you can finally enjoy being outdoors.

Lower Your Mower

It’s important to keep your lawn the right height. Grass that’s too long is prone to fungi and can invite a variety of unwelcome creatures to live there, from bugs to bunnies. To get your grass ready for the warm season, lower your blade a setting, or set the blade to the lowest recommended height setting for your lawn type.

Get Rid of Fallen Leaves

If you have a lot of trees in your yard, cleaning up any leaves that may have piled up in your yard in the fall and winter should be at the top of your spring cleaning checklist. Beyond making your lawn look tidy, raking is critical in preventing and repairing dead patches. Fallen leaves block light and trap moisture underground, so the sooner you clear them, the less likely you’ll have lawn damage. Not crazy about raking? Run your mower over the leaves with the bag attachment on. Remember, these shredded leaves are perfect for making compost for your garden beds.

Feed Your Lawn

Fertilizer delivers nutrients to the root systems of all of your plants, making them healthy and less susceptible to damage, weeds, and lawn pests. If you’re not crazy about using chemicals in your yard, opt for a natural version instead — you can even make your own with kitchen scraps.

Let Your Lawn Breathe

Aeration is key to a healthy lawn. Over time, your lawn becomes too compact. Excessive organic debris and thick root systems block out oxygen, water, and nutrients. While there are several ways to aerate your lawn, experts agree core aeration has the most benefits. Core aerators work by removing a core of grass and soil from the lawn to loosen surrounding soil. You can rent one for $50 to $80 a day at tool rental centers. If your lawn is too big of a project for you alone, a pro might be your best option.

Cure a Patchy Lawn

If your lawn looks like a patchwork quilt, spring is a great time to take action to make it lush. After you’ve aerated, select a climate-appropriate seed type that is best for your soil and shade condition. For small patches, throw the seed as if you were feeding birds. For larger areas, use a broadcast or drop spreader. Cover seeded areas with soil or straw to protect it.

Spring Garden Clean-Up

As important as maintaining your lawn is trimming back trees and pruning your shrubs, as you likely didn’t give them a lot of attention when the weather was chilly. Not everything in your garden needs to (or should be) pruned in the spring, however. Here is an ideal schedule for pruning the different species of plants in your yard:

  • Ornamental grasses – early spring
  • Broadleaf evergreen (boxwood and yew) – early spring
  • Spring-flowering shrubs – early summer
  • Deciduous trees and evergreens – winter

If you have a lot of clippings, recycle them by adding them to your leaf compost pile so they can be used as a natural fertilizer. If your garden has fallen fruits or vegetables, you’ll want to clear them out before the pests move in. Finally, add a fresh layer of mulch to flower beds to help them retain water.

While you’re taking a hard look at the exterior of your home, it’s a good idea to pay some attention to your home security system. For example, make sure that security cameras are unobstructed by tree limbs and change any bulbs in your lighting. Doing so will help keep the worry and anxiety under control when you head off for vacation.

It might seem like a lot of work, but it’s worth the effort to maintain your home and keep it looking incredible. When you’re finished, you’ll be ready to sit back, enjoy some campfires, and reap the rewards of your extra efforts. ff

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