Spring into action in your yard and garden

Spring has sprung. … or at least it’s trying to! Before your yard can become a beautiful vision of green, you first have to assess winter damages and properly prepare your lawn for the upcoming warm weather.

Maryanne Chevraux, garden center manager at Bluegrass Design/Build Landscapes Irrigation & Lighting in Jackson Township, and Brad Bartell, Landscape Architect at Classico Landscapes Inc. in Nimishillen Township, share their tips and tricks for maintaining a stunning lawn and garden this spring.

home_spring-shopping

Take care of winter damage

Long months of snow leave lawns looking dull and dead. Chevraux suggests giving your lawn a “rebirth” with aeration.

“Landscaping and lawn companies can come to your home and aerate your lawn using equipment that runs like a lawn mower,” Chevraux explains. “Aeration pulls out plugs of dirt and soil so that your grass can actually get the proper nutrients it needs. This really improves your lawn.”

Chevraux also says it is important to rid your lawn of any thatch-dead grass, roots and debris that accumulate between the soil surface and blades of grass.

“Dethatching is something you can do on your own with a special kind of rake,” she says.
Once you aerate and dethatch your lawn, you should turn your attention to your surrounding plants, trees and shrubbery.

“You need to trim the dead wood out of plants and trees,” Bartell says.

home_spring-rakeBartell says homeowners can take care of small shrubs themselves but may want to consider hiring a landscaper for larger jobs.

Make a spring checklist

Chevraux and Bartell agree that mulching flower beds is an important part of your spring to-do list.

“Definitely start by cutting down weeds and laying down mulch,” Bartell says.

Chevraux says mulching is something homeowners can do on their own, as long as they get a good grade of premium mulch.

However, nothing takes away from neat, fresh garden beds like a worn-down patio or deck. Chevraux suggests sweeping or powerwashing your patios, porches and decks to give them extra shine.

Stock up on landscaping essentials

“Every gardener should have a leaf rake, a spade for planting and edging, prongs to loosen soil, and a trowel on hand,” Chevraux says. “But my favorite tool of all is a soil knife! It has so many purposes, from weeding dandelions to even just using the side with teeth to open up bags of organic material for your garden.”

Bartell suggests stocking up on pre-emergent herbicides to prevent weeds from sprouting as the weather heats up.

“Applying a pre-emergent is definitely something you want to do in the spring to have a weed-free summer,” Bartell says.

And (finally!)—time to plant

Chevraux says a good time to start planting is in April when ground temperatures are at 55 degrees.

“It’s fine to plant perennials in early spring but keep in mind that it won’t be warm enough to plant annuals,” she warns. “You shouldn’t even think about planting annuals until mid-May, but do start looking around and thinking about what plants you want to buy.”

If you’re unsure if your garden can support a certain type of plant, Chevraux suggests doing a soil test.

“Homeowners can collect samples of their soil and send them to a university. You just let them know what type of plant you want your soil tested for, and they’ll tell you if your soil is the correct pH.”

And perhaps Chevraux’s most important gardening tip: “Always watch weather reports for frost!”

After all, you never know what type of weather an Ohio spring will give you.

One Response

  1. Heather Neikirk

    Congrats to MaryAnne Chevreaux, OSU Extension Stark County Master Gardener Volunteer on her contributions to this post! Remember, you can find local experts right around the corner to answer all of you gardening questions with the OSU Extension Stark County Master Gardener Volunteer Program Garden Information Line. This FREE service is available to any Stark County resident with live Master Gardener Volunteers on Tuesdays, 9 am- noon, March-October at the OSU Extension Office located in the USDA Service Center. Call the line anytime at 330-830-7700 xt.113 or xt.114, or email info@osustarkmg.org.

    Ohio State University Extension with an office in each of Ohio’s 88 counties offers research-based information and materials on a variety of topics including food production, gardening, agriculture, community nutrition youth development and so much more! Extension is the world’s largest non-formal education system with a national network across all fifty states. Check out our on-line learning network at extension.org!

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