Take on a little early spring maintenance now to get your lawn ready for the growth spurt to come
March is infamously unforeseeable. Shrubs can be crusty with frost on the first of the month, then, a few weeks later on, temperatures can warm up enough for flower and leaf buds to show indications of life.
Still, some early spring clean-up tasks are sure things this time of year. So go ahead and get rid of burlap from trees and shrubs as the weather warms. Prune away winter-killed branches to make room for new growth. Cut down invested perennials and pull up old annuals if you didn’t manage to get this done last fall. Then look around. “March is a great time to analyze your lawn and see if it’s time to thin out crowded beds and do some transplanting to fill in bare areas,” says This Old House landscape professional Roger Cook.
Here, a list to take on now to offer your lawn a clean start.
Trees and Shrubs
- Prune away dead and broken branches.
Where tree or shrub branches have actually been harmed by cold, frost, and wind, prune back to live stems; utilize a handsaw for any bigger than 1/2 inch in diameter. Form hedges with hand pruners, instead of electric shears, prevents a thick external layer of growth that forbids sunshine and air from reaching the shrub’s center. At right, we suggest pruning stubborn shoots back to an intersecting branch. Prune summer-flowering shrubs, such as Rose of Sharon, prior to buds swell, however wait to prune spring bloomers, like forsythia, up until after they flower. Trim overgrown evergreens back to a branch whose growth you wish to encourage.
Perennials and Grass
- Cut down and divide perennials as required.
Prune blooming perennials to a height of 4– 5 inches and decorative lawns to 2– 3 inches to allow brand-new development to shoot up. Where soil has thawed, dig up perennials, such as daylilies and hostas, to thin crowded beds; divide them, leaving a minimum of 3 stems per clump, and transplant them to fill out sporadic locations. Cut down winter-damaged increased walking sticks to 1 inch listed below the blackened area. On climbers, keep younger green canes and get rid of older woody ones; neaten them up by flexing the walking sticks horizontally and tipping the buds downward. Usage jute twine or gentle Velcro fasteners to hold the walking sticks in place.
Beds and Borders
- Clean Up Around Plants.
Rake out fallen leaves and dead foliage (which can smother plants and foster disease), pull up invested annuals, and toss in a wheelbarrow with other natural yard waste. Once the hazard of frost has passed, eliminate existing mulch to set the stage for a new layer when spring planting is done. Press heaved plants back into flower beds and borders, tamping them down around the base with your foot, or utilize a shovel to replant them. Now is a good time to spread a pelletized fertilizer customized to existing plantings on the soil’s surface area so that spring rains can carry it to the roots. Include a 5-10-10 fertilizer around bulbs as soon as they flower to maximize bloom time and feed next season’s growth. Use pins to secure drip irrigation lines that have actually come loose and a square-head shovel to give beds a tidy edge and keep turf lawn from turning into them.
- Compost Yard Waste
Dispose collected leaves, cuttings, spent foliage, and last season’s mulch into your compost heap, or make a basic confine by joining areas of wire fence (available in the house centers) into a 3-by-3-by-3-foot cube like the one above. Shred leaves and chip branches bigger than 1/2 inch in diameter to accelerate decomposition, or include a bagged garden compost starter to the stack. Keep the pile as wet as a wrung-out sponge, and aerate it with a pitchfork every 2 weeks. Just do not add any early spring weeds that have actually gone to seed– they may not prepare completely and could sprout instead.
- Preparation Damaged Yard Locations for Spring Seeding
In cooler climates grass begins growing in April, but early spring is a good time to check the soil’s pH so that you can assemble the best modifications. Eliminate turf harmed by salt, plows, or disease to prepare for the seeding that should follow in a couple of weeks. Work in a 1/2-inch layer of garden compost to keep the new seed moist, increasing the germination rate. Begin seeding as soon as forsythia starts flowering in your area. In warmer climates, March is a great time to include the first dosage of fertilizer and crabgrass treatment. Remove dead grass with a square metal rake, then flip it over to spread garden compost.
Spring is also a time when our schedules are busy with school activities, wedding and family outings. If time is slipping by and you can’t fit lawn maintenance into your schedule, give Conway Lawn Care Services a call. We will be happy to help you get your lawn ready for summer.
Conway Lawn Care Services
Conway, SC 29526