If your family is like mine, you're very familiar with spring and fall cleaning. It's the time when you take care of all the nitty gritty stuff that builds up over the months, like emptying the bug cemetery accumulating in the light fixtures and evicting the dust bunnies under beds and in corners. Yard care is another place where a little extra TLC from season to season will really go a long way to help your lawn or garden stay in prime shape for the coming months. Here are a few tips to get you in your green thumb groove.
Spring Yard Clean-Ups
Spring is the time of year when life begins to awaken from a long hibernation. This season starts in March most years but depending on weather, you may have to wait a bit longer. Take this time to clear your yard of debris that have gathered over the winter such as dead leaves, fallen twigs and branches and expired annuals or perennials to make way for new growth. If you wish, you can start a compost with the leaves, cuttings and expired foliage.
As you begin to unwrap the burlap from your plants check their condition as well as that of the lawn. You may notice a few patches of grass have gone to the brown side; this may be for a few reasons, all of them very common due to the unpredictability of the weather. For instance, dormant seeding in the fall followed by an early winter snow could lead to what's known as snow mold. Be sure to till and aerate your lawn very well, as well as using a fertilizer rich in phosphorus to facilitate new seed growth.
This is also a great time to re-assess the layout of your yard. Are you happy with the placement and proportion of the borders and flowerbeds or is it time to change up the landscape
Fall Yard Clean-Ups
Leaves transforming into bursts of crimson red, lemony yellow and saffron orange remind us that the season of unending raking is upon us.
As you are preparing your home for the cold to come, begin by clearing out gutters with a hose or other specialty tool. Clear your lawn of clutter, adding leaves, perennial vegetation and twigs to compost as before. As you rake don’t worry about collecting every last leaf; a little ground cover can act as insulation in the winter. Rim your trees and plants with another layer of phosphorus-rich fertilizer and trim the grass as low as possible.
After trimming, empty the gas tank on your lawnmower. This is also a good time to do a little tune-up on it as well as your snow blower. Drain and store hoses and while you're at it, be sure to drain irrigation pipes and fixtures to prevent freezing. Put tools and appliances you'll need in the winter in an easy-to-find place. Check to make sure your shovels are sturdy and ready for the long winter to come.
The last step is to fix yourself a steaming cup of apple cider and relax on the porch as you admire your efforts!
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As a professional Lawn Care Technician, I like to say I know a lot about a little and a little about a lot.