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.
Here's an option for reseeding your lawn. If you have a large lawn or yard area consider renting or having your landscaper use a power rake instead of a rototiller to prepare your soil. A power rake is much wider and larger than a rototiller and able to cover the area more quickly. You will save time and money preparing your lawn for new seed or sod.
A general rule of thumb is to never mow more than 1/3 of the leaf blade off at any one mowing. Secondly, it is better to mow twice a week (during the active growing period) and always try to mow during the coolest part of the day. Lastly, the new mulching deck mowers are terrific as they return the grass clippings and nutrients back to the soil. By doing this you can help the land fills by reducing lawn waste and you can even save an extra fertilizer applications.
Plant windbreaks of trees or shrubs to reduce soil loss from blowing wind and also to provide habitat and shelter for wildlife. Windbreaks reduce the wind around your home and serve as a sight and sound barrier.
Different soil types have different watering needs. You don't need to be a soil scientist to know how to water your soil properly. These tips can help: Loosen the soil around plants so it can quickly absorb water and nutrients. Use a 1- to 2-inch protective layer of mulch on the soil surface above the root area. Cultivating and mulching reduce evaporation and soil erosion. Clay soil: Add organic material such as compost or peat moss. Till or spade to help loosen the soil. Since clay soil absorbs water very slowly, water only as fast as the soil absorbs the water. Sandy soil: Add organic material to supplement sandy soil. Otherwise, the water can run through it so quickly that plants won't be able to absorb it. Loam soil: The best kind of soil. It's a combination of sand, silt, and clay. Loam absorbs water readily and stores it for plants to use.
To water vegetable and flower gardens containing tall plants that may otherwise block the spray, set sprinklers on a sawhorse, or use a tower-mounted sprinkler.