Spring Cleaning for the Lawn and Landscape
It is that time of year again. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and our world is turning green again. Springtime is an excellent time of year to improve the appearance of your lawn and landscape. With frequent showers and warmer temperatures, plants respond quickly to any efforts you might make. For the best bang for your buck, hiring a professional lawn service to spruce things up is a great idea. In this article we will cover some of the best ways to enhance your lawn and landscape in the springtime.
You might notice in the first few months of the season that some lawns are a deep, rich green color and other are pale and thin. There is one primary reason for this. The green lawns are using a high nitrogen fertilizer as early as February, and the other lawns do not get nitrogen until it is warmer. Lawns spend all winter expanding their root system. They do not die, but instead keep growing underground. Nitrogen is the lawn’s food source, and it does not receive any food during winter months. Therefore, the lawn is starving when spring rolls around.
If you address this concern and apply a high nitrogen fertilizer early in the season, the lawn will quickly respond and flourish. If you continue to let it starve, the lawn will look sickly for several months. Early season fertilizer is applied in granule form, but knowing the right amount and type to apply requires some experience. Your local lawn-care provider can be sure that the right application is made.
Pruning and Trimming Trees and Shrubs
Springtime is one of the best times of the year to shape your landscape and remove unwanted plant material. After a harsh winter, you will likely have plants or ornamental grasses with dead plant material. This material must be removed so that new growth can grow back. In addition, the shaping of shrubs and bushes makes a huge difference in the overall appearance of your property. With a little trimming, you can have your shrubs looking sharp for the rest of the year.
This is also a good time to remove any unwanted branches on trees. If you have low hanging branches, it can make it difficult to mow or trim around the trunk. The larger the branch gets, the more difficult it is to remove without disrupting the shape of the tree. Dead branches or entirely dead trees are unattractive and are a safety hazard. Spring is also a good time to remove dead wood from the property. This type of work in particular must be done by a professional for safety reasons.
One of our favorite projects for springtime is redoing our mulch beds. Over the fall and winter, the mulch starts to break down and lose its shape and color. By simply adding a few inches of fresh mulch on top of the old mulch, you can refresh the color and texture. You also make maintenance easier by preventing the growth of weeds around your trees and shrubs. Mulch also holds moisture in the soil so less watering is needed. This can be back-breaking work, so you may want the professionals to take care of it for you.
If you have thin or bare areas in your lawn, springtime is the second best time of year to seed those areas. The cool temperatures and frequent rain of March and April give us ideal conditions for germination. However, the seeding process can be quite complicated. For the best results, I suggest first aerating the soil. A lawn aerator is a large piece of equipment that can be hard to maneuver. It removes cores of soil about ½ inch across and a few inches deep. This breaks up soil compaction and creates room for new roots to expand.
Next the seed must be applied evenly to the area. Selecting the proper seed really depends on the current composition of your lawn. You need to know your grass varieties to ensure you select the right blend. Once the seed is applied, additional soil contact is needed for the best germination rate possible. A verti-cut or verti-slice machine has vertical blades that cut the seed into the top layer of soil. This machine is again tough to use, so a lawn-care service can handle the whole job for you.
Maintenance after the seed job is every bit as important as the seeding itself. Make sure you do not apply crabgrass pre-emergent to the area that is going to be seeded. In addition, do not apply any weed control to newly emerged grass. It needs to be mowed a few times before it can handle weed control. For watering, start out watering about 30 minutes either daily or every other day. You must keep the seed bed consistently moist. Avoid mowing the new grass until it is four to five inches tall. If you follow these rules, you should have a fuller, thicker lawn in a few weeks.
Broadleaf Weed Control
It may seem obvious, but one of the most effective ways to improve the springtime appearance of your lawn is to control broadleaf weeds. The ones that stick out the worst are dandelions, henbit, chickweed, and white clover. These weeds can call be controlled with a series of liquid weed control treatments. Liquid weed control is absorbed by the leaf of the weed and then distributed throughout the rest of the plant to kill it from the root up. Any lawn-care service can apply this kind of product every four to six weeks.
Adding Plants to your Landscape
In the springtime, there are dozens of flowers and other plants that can be added to your beds for some additional color. With very little cost and effort, you can purchase these plants and add them to your landscape. Just hit the hardware store, select your favorite flowers, and get to work.
One of the best parts about springtime is the weather. You have been trapped inside all winter and finally have sunny skies and pleasant temperatures outside. Everybody wants to spend time outdoors, and working on your lawn and landscape is a productive way to spend that time. With a little help from your local professionals, you can have the best springtime lawn on the block.