A little effort in early spring can lay the groundwork for a thriving, healthy lawn and garden. Here are a few tips to get help you get started.
Rake It In. Put those snow-shoveling muscles back to work with a little raking. Fallen leaves and other dead foliage smother plants and promote disease. Clear away yard debris from plant beds and borders.
Build the Beds. Fluff up last year’s mulch and add additional mulch as needed to your beds and borders. A layer of 2 to 4 inches of mulch will hold in the right amount of moisture and heat.
Make the Cut. Prune dead branches. Wait to prune plants with spring blooms until after they flower. Trim evergreens back to a branch whose direction of growth you want to encourage.
Divide and Conquer. Cut and divide perennials to encourage new growth. It’s best to trim flowering perennials down to 4 or 5 inches but the ornamental grasses can be cut down to 2 to 3 inches. If you have perennials like daylilies or hostas, go ahead and thin out the big clumps. Once you break them up, they can be transplanted to bare patches in your garden.
Clutter Free. While you’re out in the yard tooling around, might as well clean the gutters (guaranteed to win brownie points from the spouse). Overflow from clogged gutters can cause serious structural damage to your foundation over time. In addition, a water-logged gutter can damage the fascia boards on your roof.
Extra Credit. Take it a step further and check your roof for shingles that are buckling, curling or blistering; this indicates the end of the shingles’ life expectancy.