While it may be hard to believe, spring is on its way. Here are five tips to help you prepare your lawn and shrubbery for the growing season ahead.
Our love of gardening oftern begins in childhood. Share your passion for gardening with your child or grandchild and plant the seed for generations to come.
Consider your finish grade around the house as part of the building process to ensure water is properly diverted away from your foundation.
Lawn edging should be performed at regular intervals to maintain a neat appearance. Power edgers can be adjusted to make either straight of bevel cuts.
The general rule of thumb is to fertilize cool season turf grasses, e.g., bluegrass, fescue or ryegrass in the fall months and warm season grasses, e.g., bermuda, zoysia and St Augustine in the summer months. Combination products of fertilizer with pesticides can provide excellent results. However, care must be taken to use the right product for the intended situation and to follow the directions on the label. With fertilizer, more is never better.
The first cut in the spring and the last cut in the fall should be low. In the spring this removes any winter fungus and in the fall prevents fungus from getting established during the winter.
Place rows of trees or shrubs to avoid soil loss from wind and also to create a habitat and shelter for wildlife. Windbreaks can minimize the wind around your home and serve as a sight and sound barrier.
To naturalize bulbs in your lawn, choose bulbs that blossom and fade before grass grows vigorously and requires mowing: crocus, winter aconite, snowdrops, and scilla.
Pruning ground covers is usually necessary only to remove unhealthy tissue or awkward or straggling branches, or to keep a plant from becoming too invasive. Vigorous ground covers include honeysuckle, goutweed, snow-in-summer, wintercreeper and English ivy. Certain plants--such as honeysuckle, pachysandra, euonymus and English ivy--should be mowed or cut back to 5 to 6 inches in height every year or two to keep the beds vigorous, neat and more pest free. Be sure to use sharp cutting equipment.
An easy way to make sure your garden tools are clean and rust-free is to use a bucket filled with a sand-oil mixture. Fill up a 5-gal. bucket with clean, dry sand, then lightly saturate it with new motor oil. When you are done using tools like shovels, forks and spades, scrape off excess soil and plunge them up and down in the mix. Small tools like trowels can also be cleaned the same way. Wipe the tools dry before storing.