Spring is almost here, you can smell it in the air! The official first day of spring is March 21st and now is the time to get outside and start spring-cleaning your landscape. It won’t be long and the dreary days of winter will be replaced by the vibrant colors and smells of spring. Here are a few tips to get you started on your outdoor “to do” list.

 
Lawn Care

Start with removing any accumulated debris as well as removing all the thatch  (dried dead grass and weeds) with a rake. If the thatch is left in the yard it can prevent water and nutrients from reaching the roots of your lawn. If you will be planting grass seeds, this will help them to root in the soil better.  Because the harsh conditions of Winter can take a toll on your lawn and cause dead spots in your lawn, be sure to rake any visible spots in your lawn before mowing.

Before you mow the yard for the first time of the season, it is important you change the oil, spark plug, put fresh gasoline in the tank and make sure the blade is sharpened.  When you are ready to mow, it should be short enough to remove the dead tips of the grass. This shorter mowing will encourage the roots to waken up and start growing.

Lawns can be fertilized organically by using compost  and mulching mowers.   It is also easy to  go green when looking for solutions for lawn and soil problems. There are many organic products available from fertilizers to weed control that do not contain chemicals.

Pruning

Spring is a great time to prune ornamental trees and shrubs, the best time to do so is before growth starts. This is also a great time to prune roses, by doing so you will see a much fuller and robust plant when they begin to bloom.

Proper pruning enhances the beauty of almost any landscape tree and shrub, while improper pruning can ruin or greatly reduce its landscape potential, so be sure to research the correct methods!

Planting: Annuals and Perennials

Many hardy perennials can be planted quite early in the spring, especially if they have been kept outdoors at the nursery and are well acclimated to the weather. While most annuals do not tolerate frost, and transplants will do better if planted into soil that has a bit of time to warm up after that cold winter, but you can  start now to get your plan together. Research gardening books, magazines as well as online for ideas and information on certain plants and the amount of care required.  However, some flowers that can take the often chilly temperatures of spring are: Snapdragons, Violas and Purple Cabbage. Depending on your area you should also be able to plant roses, berries, fruit trees and most deciduous plants now.

Spring lawn and landcape care is important, as early season care has a big impact for the rest of the season. With a little extra care and prevention now can make for a beautiful landscape to be enjoyed all summer long. Take advantage of the cooler temperatures to get your yard and garden ready now!