Spring has sprung, and it’s time to clean. We talk a lot about cleaning up indoors but not about our front yards. Yet, it’s the first thing visitors see. Greet them with a spring-ready lawn and driveway with these tips:
Survey Your Lawn
Before you trim the bushes or plant spring flowers, take a good, long look at your lawn. Pick up any debris including leaves, twigs and tree branches. If you plan to rake leaves, wait until the ground is completely dry as raking can tear grass from the roots. Once your yard is debris-free, check for bare patches and add soil mixed with grass seeds. Keep your lawn moist so the new grass can sprout.
Feed Your Lawn
Fertilize your lawn as soon as it’s warm and there is no chance for a freak chill. Remember that weeds and crabgrass flourish, as well, so apply weed killer. You can buy weed killer at gardening centers. If you’d like to go organic, here is a recipe for a weed killer you can make at home.
Mow, Mow, Mow
Professional gardeners recommend mowing every five days for the first six weeks of spring. That’s because grass grows quickly in March and April. Leaving it too long and then cutting it, risks stunting the roots. The grass won’t reproduce properly, and you will be left with bare patches.
Tackle Trees and Bushes
Clip any dead branches you find. This is also a great time to cut back tree limbs hanging over your neighbor’s fence or high-traffic sidewalks. Doing so will keep branches from accidentally breaking. It also allows more sunlight to get to the center of trees and bushes.
Time to Prune
Clip dead blooms. If you have ornamental grasses, snip them as close to the ground as possible. They will quickly come back more beautiful than ever. Don’t overdo it with roses or hydrangeas or you could stunt the growth of blossoms.
Add Mulch (but not too much)
Mulch, either compost or pieces of bark around trees and plant beds, give your front yard a finished look. Mulch also keeps delicate roots warm in spring and cool in summer, aids in moisture retention and adds nutrients. Don’t use too much as the mulch may repel water and cut off air circulation, dehydrating and suffocating your plants. Aim for two to four inches.
Porches and Driveways
Clean any furniture you have on the porch. If you have any sort of wood or fencing, check to see anything is broken and then repair. Check for mildew. A solution of bleach, powdered laundry detergent and warm water should do the trick if you find it. Check your driveway for cracks. You can use caulk to seal them. Concrete resurfacer can be purchased at any hardware store and used to level out any low spots you find. It can also fix damaged concrete.