Easy Tips for a Lush Lawn and Garden

Tired of being cooped up all winter? Hungering for a taste of spring? Your lawn and garden are ready to come out of hibernation too.

Photo by: Shutterstock.com


YOUR LAWN
Out with the old.
Remove leaves, sticks and other seasonal debris to give your lawn a chance to breathe. Raking with a metal rake helps to dethatch the lawn and removes dead roots and grasses. Raking also clears the way for mowing, watering and planting seed.

Bring on the seed.
Before seeding, rake area of dead or weak grass. Smooth and level the surface. Add new topsoil and starter fertilizer and work them into the soil. Follow by rolling with a weighted roller. Then spread the seed by sowing half in one direction and the other half at a right angle. Rake and roll again.

Mulch for moisture.
Applying mulch around the bases of trees, shrubs and in flowerbeds helps keep plants moist and warm. After grass seeding, Lowes.com suggests mulching with a weed-free straw, like wheat straw, to keep the seed from blowing or washing away.

Pour it on.
When should you water? Only when your lawn needs it. Then, really drench it. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), watering deeply as needed encourages the grass roots to dig deeper into the soil and promotes healthy growth.

Raise your mower.
Raise the cutting height of your lawnmower to keep grass roots shaded and cooler. Keep the grass on the longer side so it will grow thicker and healthier. For most turf grasses, try keeping the length at 2 ½- to 3 ½-inches.

YOUR GARDEN
Plant early spring vegetables.
You can plant common early spring crops like peas, spinach, lettuces, leeks and potatoes if the soil is free of ice crystals and isn’t too wet. If the soil crumbles easily, it’s ready for planting. If you live in an area where a hard frost is still a possibility, make sure to cover the seedlings with items you have on hand, like overturned buckets or flowerpots.

Prepare perennial beds.
For new perennial flowerbeds, spread a 6-inch deep layer of peat moss, compost or manure and work it into the soil. For existing beds, clear out debris and spread a 2-inch layer of mulch to prevent weeds and to retain moisture. This is also an ideal time to divide and replant overgrown perennials by digging them up and splitting them apart.

Prune fruit trees.
If you want a juicy, tasty piece of fruit in a few months, prune your tree before new buds begin to bloom. Doing so keeps the tree from being stressed and helps produce a more plentiful crop. Also, make sure your tools are clean and sharp to ensure cleaner pruning cuts.

Prune roses.
To grow stately roses with beautiful, full blooms, prune them before or just as new growth appears. Cutting your roses back helps produce strong, healthy shoots with more abundant blooms. Of course, your local climate will determine the best time to prune.

Watch out for persistent pests.
Even pests need a place to stay warm over winter, which is why you may find slugs, snails or aphids in your perennials. Make sure to clear last year’s pots of summer plants since certain weevils like to live there and feed on the plant roots.

Clip ornamental grasses.
If you love the privacy and beauty of tall ornamental grasses, help them look their best by cutting them back to about 4-inches tall just as, or before, they show new growth. This is also a good time to divide grasses and move them to other areas of your yard.

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