Spring is the time to lay the foundation for a beautiful lawn and garden throughout the warmer months. Putting time and effort into your home’s great outdoors enhances curb appeal for potential buyers while increasing your own enjoyment and providing an attractive backdrop for open-air entertaining.
Some of the key steps to take in spring include laying down fertilizer, getting your veggie garden started, mulching your lawn, and more. Using the proper techniques and methods will yield the best results.
Ready to put winter behind you and get ready for a lush spring lawn? Besides being a feast for the eyes and a comfy carpet for the feet, a full, green lawn increases a home’s property value by 15 to 20 percent! Applying fertilizer properly is key to getting a lot of growth, and spring is the perfect time to put down your first round.
The key to applying fertilizer is to cover every inch of your lawn, evenly. Use a spreader, and make sure not to overlap rows too much. Fertilizer should be applied every eight weeks during a lawn’s active growing season. Fertilizer adds nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to soil where these naturally occurring nutrients have been depleted.
Fresh produce can be pricy, and the organic kind even more so. Growing your own fruits and vegetables is a smart, and tasty, way to save money. If you’re looking forward to serving homegrown grilled veggies at your summer barbecues, spring is the time to get your garden ready.
First, decide what to plant, and how much. Home gardeners often find themselves with a harvest so plentiful they have to foist their surplus on friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. Unless that scenario appeals to you, make sure you only plant what you can use to avoid excess and waste.
Next, decide how big you want your garden to be. Keep in mind that a well-tended 10×10 space will produce more than an overgrown, difficult to tend 25×50 foot bed. If you don’t have the yard space, you can garden in containers on a deck or balcony.
Once you’ve determined size, it’s time to choose the location. Keep in mind that most vegetables need at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight. Also make sure the area is close to a water source. Most vegetables aren’t very drought tolerant, so you’ll need to water during dry spells.
As with any kind of garden, success usually starts with the soil. Most vegetables do best in moist, well-drained soil that’s rich in organic matter. For truly organic fruits and vegetables, consider soils made with organic and natural ingredients – helping to retain moisture and protect from over- and under-watering.
How/why to mulch
Mulch gives your lawn a clean, finished look, but did you know it’s very beneficial to your plants and soil as well? Mulch does a lot of things for your landscaping beds, including reducing surface evaporation of moisture from the soil, protecting shallow-rooted plants, discouraging weed growth and improving water penetration.
You can mulch any time of the year. The areas to be mulched should be cleared of all weeds, leaves and grass. Use at least 3 inches of mulch for an effective covering. When it comes to materials, there are many choices. You can find both natural and man-made mulch materials, from wood to stone to rubber. It’s important to choose mulch in a color that complements your home and landscaping.
Spring planting basics
Nothing says spring like colorful, flowering plants in your yard. But if you can’t wait for seeds to sprout, you can plant live blooms for an instant pop of color. The key is selecting the right type of flowers for your region.
The country is divided into 11 plant hardiness zones – find out what yours is and then choose plants that are compatible with it. You can find your zone on the U.S. Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zone Map.
Preparing the soil for your flowers is also very important. You must have healthy soil and the correct pH level for the types of flowers you’re planting. Test your soil with a kit, and add organic matter if necessary. You can add peat moss, sawdust, sand, manure, ground bark or homemade compost to improve poor soil.
Make sure to water as directed to keep your soil moist and your flowers healthy. By following these spring lawn and garden tips, you’ll be well on your way to a vibrant, blooming yard.