When the chill of winter gives way to the warmer days of spring, the trees start budding, the flowers begin to bloom, and lawns start turning green. And truth be told, Mother Nature doesn’t need a lot of help. However, there are a number of steps recommended by Purdue University Cooperative Extension Services to give Mother Nature a hand – and make your lawn and garden the envy of your neighbors.
Trees and Shrubs
- Pruning: Begin pruning trees and shrubs while they are still dormant. For species that bloom early in spring, wait until their flowers fade before you prune.
- Fertilizing: The best time to fertilize “woody” plants is before new growth appears, and after the soil temperatures hit 40°F.
- Covered plants: When new growth begins, remove the protective coverings from roses or other covered shrubs. Be prepared to re-cover with mulch as needed during a late freeze.
- Before the first cut: Use a rake to clear away leaves, twigs/tree branches and other debris. When you cut the grass for the first time, set the mower a little lower than usual – this will encourage green-up.
- After the first cut: Locate bare spots for seeding, using the appropriate seed types for your area. If you don’t seed, apply pre-emergent herbicides to control crabgrass.
- After new growth is established: Apply insect control or broadleaf weed control as needed. Try to avoid spreading herbicide onto garden plants.
- Early season prep: Start your warm-season flower seeds inside. Keep your eyes out for blooms from early spring bulbs such as daffodils or dwarf iris.
- Before you transplant: “Harden” your seed starts by gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions – wind, sun, less moisture. Once the threat of frost has passed, transplant them to your outdoor garden area.
And, while you are tending to your home’s exterior, don’t forget about spring maintenance inside. To make sure you can retreat to a comfortable, air conditioned oasis when the gardening is done, now would be a great time check or change your HVAC system’s air filter and contact us for a spring clean and check.