Is that mountain of dirty snow in your front yard finally gone? Yes? Fantastic! Now look again. Does your front yard look more like a botanical graveyard than a lush, green oasis? Don’t panic! We can fix it! Sure, we’ve all heard of “spring cleaning;” you wash the windows, air out the house, and maybe even shampoo the carpets if you’re feeling ambitious, but what about the outside of your house? That’s right, I’m talking about the dreaded outdoor spring clean-up.
Fortunately, Logan Evans, President of Mountain Landscaping, LLC, offered his professional opinion, free of charge! To many of you (or am I the only one?), an outdoor clean-up may seem daunting. Logan broke things down into six basic steps to spruce things up outside of your home. As you check each item off your list, make sure you are working from top to bottom (i.e.gutters to grass); it will make your life much easier.
- Clean your gutters – Clear all debris from the gutters and don’t forget to flush out the downspout using a garden hose. If this doesn’t work, you may need to use a plumber’s snake. Remember – be gentle.
- Prune those plants – First, check to see what time of year your trees and shrubs prefer to be pruned. If you’re going to prune this spring, make sure you do so before any new growth appears. Popular spring bloomers, like azaleas and forsythia, form their buds early, so put those clippers away for now. Keep in mind, it’s just a trim; don’t go hacking away at your plants!
- Revive landscape beds – Eliminate debris and weeds, if any, from your beds. While you’re at it, a fresh layer of mulch wouldn’t hurt.
- Edge landscape beds – Edging your beds creates a clean appearance and separation between your lawn and beds. A clean edge also makes mowing easier. If you can’t get your hands on an electric edger, use an “edging spade,” available at hardware stores.
- Clear off your lawn – Remove any stones, small limbs, and twigs from your lawn. Next, “thatch,” or rake, your lawn with a leaf rake. This will remove any dead grass and promote new growth. Be sure to pay special attention to where your lawn meets the street, as this area tends to be full of cinders and rocks.
- Fertilize your lawn – A healthy lawn requires fertilization, preferably four times a year. This spring, fertilize your lawn once between February and April and again between April and June. The first round of spring fertilization is necessary in order to strengthen roots before the growing season. Between April and June, fertilize again to feed your lawn and control weeds. Visit your local hardware store or garden center to find out what fertilizer is best for your lawn’s needs.
The Lowdown on Lawns
• Sharpen mower blades! Dull mower blades won’t give you a clean cut and are harmful to your grass.
• Less is more! By cutting only the top third of your grass, you reduce stress to grass blades, promote healthier roots, and limit weed growth. But don’t let your grass get too long – mow before any weeds have the opportunity to scatter their seeds.
• Hydrate! When it comes to watering your lawn, quality saturations are key. Give your lawn a good soaking once a week, rather than a quick spray every day. If you have sandy soil, your lawn may require a drink more often than a clay-based soil, which will retain water. And remember, always water in the early morning or after the sun goes down to avoid burning your grass. ■
*Mountain Landscaping, LLC is a design, installation, and maintenance landscape contractor with offices in Cresco and Pocono Pines. Established in 2003, Mountain Landscaping, LLC prides itself in quality craftsmanship and outstanding customer service. A loyal clientele and dedicated team members help Mountain Landscaping, LLC continue to grow.