Punxsutawny Phil broke the news this morning, but c'mon...who needed a groundhog to tell us we've got six more weeks of winter? It's never to early to start planning for the snow melting and the birds returning, so here are a seven spring cleanup tips to help wake up your garden for Spring. Whether doing it yourself or calling Scott’s to help, here are some guidelines to help prepare for the first warm day.
1. Mulching and Edging
When you can finally smell the soil again and the last piles of snow on the north side of the house are melting, it's time to edge and mulch. It's easier to take care of this early, before your perennials and tender spring leaves push out—there's less risk of damaging their new growth.
If it's been a while since your last mulching, we recommend a few inches of dark brown, triple-processed shredded hardwood mulch to freshen up garden beds (keep readying to find out how to avoid too "mulch" of a good thing...). Mulch maintains soil moisture and temperatures (plants love that!) and breaks down over time, adding organic matter to your planting beds. Yes, it can smell AWFUL, but that's only for a few days! Cutting a new bed edge will keep all that fresh mulch nicely in place throughout the season ahead.
2. Spring Lawn Fertilization and Seeding
Early spring is a great time to fertilize and tackle any bare spots in your lawn.
In shady areas, seeding and topdressing before leaves come back on the trees means your lawn has a chance to fill in before the sun is blocked out by tree canopies. Thin areas showing signs of wear in sunny lawns also benefit from this treatment, and early spring fertilizer helps green up lawns to give them a head start on the season. Our lawn care and maintenance team is always there to help if needed too, especially in tough areas along paving edges where Crabgrass may need to be controlled!
3. Pre-emergent Weed Control
Tired of fighting spring weeds every year? Our pre-emergent herbicide reduces new weed growth in your planting beds. Adding pre-emergent to a fresh mulching or mulch-turning can save time later when warm weather hits and weeds start to flourish.
4. Mulch reductions: For too “mulch” of a good thing!
If your site has been over-mulched or mulched too frequently in the past, it may be time to remove the old mulch and start fresh. Removing old mulch applied too deeply can be useful against building foundations and the bases of trees, where it can also be an unwanted habitat for insects, pests, and molds, and can look ugly, too! A healthy 2-3” mulch layer on top of properly graded planting beds is beneficial; greater mulch depths may create nitrogen-depleting soil conditions. Like peeling off layers of wallpaper before priming and painting to update a room...it's labor intensive, but the benefits last for years!
5. Patio Cleaning
Winter moss and molds can build up on your walkways, patios, and other paving surfaces. They can be unsightly, and slippery too! If you need a hand or don't want to spend the first warm days getting your patio in shape, schedule a time now for the Scott’s team to power wash and re-sand your outdoor living spaces so when the weather warms up, they’re ready to enjoy.
6. Unpacking furniture and garden ornament
Don't wait until the first family barbecue to break out the table and chairs you've stored over winter. The sooner they're out on the patio, the sooner warm weather and after-hours arrives! Take time to inspect, wipe down, and clean your furniture so it's ready for your Aunt Margaret to enjoy a mimosa on the first warm weekend.
7. Pond Startups
Our team can help get your pond ready for the season ahead. We work to line up pond startup commitments by the end of March in order to have them ready for the season. Take time now to find, inspect, and get your pumps and equipment in order so they're ready to install soon, or let us know how we can help with your startup needs.
And one more thing...if this is the year you decide to upgrade to that new patio set you've been thinking of, remember--investing in great furnishings for the outdoors is the same as investing in great furnishings indoors. Buy a great set once, and you'll enjoy it for a lifetime!
So while Punxsutawney Phil gets to rest for six more weeks, our team is ready for Spring now!