It’s finally springtime in the Washington DC metro area! Although old man winter packed his bags a little later than usual, that doesn’t mean you’ve missed your opportunity to get a leg up on landscaping.
Spring into action with these 7 tips for getting your yard in great shape.
- Start with an inspection – Check out your trees, lawn, bushes, and/or flower beds for damage caused by snow, ice and wind. You’ll want to address these issues first.
- Clean up planting beds – Rake up and remove all leaves and debris from your plant beds. Use a flathead shovel to create clean edges for a manicured look.
- Test your soil – To optimize the health of your lawn, it is imperative to keep an eye on your lawn’s pH levels and ensure a healthy balance of nutrients. Otherwise, all those Saturdays spent in the yard, may be for nothing. Test kits can be found at most major hardware stores or your local garden center. While you’re there, consulting your local garden center for help is a terrific way to get practical lawn care tips and advice on landscaping and yard maintenance.
- Fertilize – This seems like a no-brainer but choosing the right fertilizer can be tricky. A slow-release or controlled-release option often works best. Don’t forget to fertilize your trees and shrubs, too. Just be sure to do this prior to mulching.
- Mulch – Add a layer of fresh mulch (about an inch thick) to your plant beds and around trees. Be mindful not to exceed a layer of 3 inches. Also, keep mulch from contacting the tree trunks.
- Control weeds – Spring is the best time to get an early jump on those pesky weeds. Apply a “pre-emergent” weed control. This will also help with preventing things like dreaded crabgrass.
- Keep an eye on the weather – Lastly, be aware of dramatic changes in weather. This is the Washington DC metro area after all. Watch out for those chilly nights especially. Bring potted plants in for the night and if you can, add an extra layer of mulch to your beds the day before. When it heats up, be sure to water your lawn early in the morning or after the sun has gone down. Turning sprinklers on during the smoldering heat of a summer day will simply evaporate the water leaving you with nothing but an increased water bill.
Follow these simple steps and your yard will be the envy of the neighborhood!