Especially when we’re all spending more time at home, if you’re lucky enough to have a backyard, now is a great time to tackle the yard care tips that will get your outdoor space ready for summer. Here, lawn and garden expert, Chris Lambton, gives us a short yard care checklist that you can start working on right now to get your lawn and entire backyard ready for the warmer weather ahead. Grab your gardening gloves and a rake, then get ready to dig in!
Mind your planters
Check to see if your existing planters need any repairs and look for any damage caused over the winter. “You’ll want to turn the soil, do a little weeding, and add some organic compost. It’s good to add compost a few weeks before you start planting or sowing seeds,” says Lambton.
Get the beds ready
Raking winter decay and debris out of the flower beds is an easier task to tackle now, before blooms and bulbs start popping up. “This way, you’re not stepping on new plants while you’re doing it,” says Lambton. “Now is the time to trim things back a little bit and add some organic Plant-tone to the soil. Aim to do it a few days before it rains.”
Book a landscaper in advance
If you have some big jobs in your yard that you want to enlist a pro to help with, now is the time to get estimates. At this time, some companies are even providing video consultations so you can skip the in-person chat. This allows you to price shop, figure out what you want, and get potential permits (if needed). Busy landscaping companies often book in advance, and nowadays, many are booking even further ahead.
Get those seeds started!
Start your seed lines and you can even plant some cold weather crops now that are direct sow, like carrots, kale, and beets. “You can get summer seedlings started indoors too. Plants like tomatoes benefit from getting some time to grow indoors before moving outside when the weather warms up,” says Lambton. “Place seedlings near a south facing window or use a grow light if needed.”
Clear off your lawn
Spring is the time you want to thatch your lawn and give it a good comb over. Remove all of the dead leaves, sticks, and branches off because they’ll create decayed spots of grass. “You don’t want to start sowing grass seed until the temperature stays over 40 degrees consistently,” says Lambton. “If it’s too cold, it will be harmful to the grass.”
Also, if you hire a landscaper, let them know if you’ve recently seeded or overseeded the grass, so they can adjust the fertilizer they use on it.
Spread mulch down now
Mulching is easier and quicker to do in April rather than later on in the spring, because you don’t have to avoid blooming flowers. And if you’re hiring a pro to mulch for you, it will take them less time, which translates to savings for you. Plus, mulch acts as a little layer of insulation for your bulbs, just in case you do have an unexpected cold snap.
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Caylin Harris, 3.20.20, Real Simple Magazine