Everyone wants an attractive yard. Homes with curb appeal are sources of pride for their owners, and they draw a lot of attention from neighbors, visitors and passers-by. If you want a home with lots of curb-envy, now is the time to start planning. While your seed catalogues are starting to collect, take a minute to make a schedule for lawn and garden care.
When you see a well-kept lawn or garden, it’s easy to appreciate the splendor, but often we are left with questions—do they tend their own gardens? Who installed that awesome patio? How do they keep their lawn so green and immaculate?
By taking a look at the following checklist for spring and summer, you too can own an attractive yard. Sometimes outdoor maintenance can seem overwhelming, but by breaking it down into the following categories, it becomes much more manageable.
- Repair dead patches using sod or seed, and give any weak areas a nudge by dethatching and aerating
- Once snow has melted, use a spring fertilizer across your entire lawn
- Rid your lawn of crabgrass using a pre-emergent herbicide
- Keep your mower easily accessible! Mow regularly and as needed, removing only one-third of the grass height at one time
- As summer gets hot, raise the mowing height (taller grass has more staying power through heat and drought)
- Alternate your mowing pattern to avoid ruts or strips, and leave the clippings on the lawn
- If necessary, water in the morning, and let the lawn soak up water until you reach about an inch per week
- Remove old mulch and refresh tired-looking areas, and enhance soil with organic matter
- Prune vines growing over arbors and trellises, and prune and plant roses
- Plant cool-season flowers, vegetables, fruit trees and berry bushes, and fertilize several weeks before blooming (using a fruit-tree plant food for any berry bushes or fruit trees)
- Divide any overcrowded perennials and cut back spring bulb foliage as it yellows
- Cut flowers and herbs in the morning, and water containers when dry
- Harvest fruits when ripe and vegetables as needed
- Fertilize flowers and vegetables monthly, and mulch beds as needed
- Prune fruit-bearing shrubs, replant strawberries after fruiting, deadhead flowers for fall, and train vines by tying or light pruning
- Inspect your plants for insect or disease damage and address appropriately
- Repair cracks in paved area and refresh gravel or mulch as needed
- Move furniture out of storage, and clean and repaint if necessary
- Clean decks and if necessary, protect wooden decks with sealant or re-stain if the wood is looking shabby
- Tune and sharpen lawn mower and pruning tools, and lubricate any latches and hinges on gates
- Replace wiring or bulbs on outdoor fixtures
- Paint or stain building exteriors as needed, and clean and repair cold frames
- Clean tools after each use to prevent rust
- Repair cracks as needed and weed between pathway pavers
Trees, Shrubs and Groundcover Care:
- Thoroughly water new plants after dry winters
- Remove old mulch and re-mulch at the base of trees and bushes or in landscaped areas
- Remove any dead shrubs or groundcovers, and check in on the health of your trees for any dead or diseased branches that require professional removal
- Get out your pruning tools! Prune and clean up dead, broken or diseased tree branches, and prune any summer flowering shrubs
- Rake, fertilize and groom groundcovers
- Prune spring-blooming shrubs after flowers fade (lilacs are a good example of this), and deadhead faded flowers
- Water new shrubs and trees once per week, wetting the soil to a depth of one foot
- Trim hedges after the first new growth flush
- Weed around trees, adding mulch if necessary (keep material 1-2 inches away from the tree trunks)
- Regularly inspect your trees, bushes and groundcover for insect or disease damage, addressing each appropriately
By incorporating the above maintenance steps into your annual routine, you’ll be able to keep your yard beautiful. Don’t have a garden? Eliminate that portion of the checklist. Only have one tree? Adjust accordingly.
Owning and maintaining a great yard is something to be proud of, and J&S Landscaping can help you both make the most of what you currently have and elevate your space. If you are thinking about making an upgrade such as constructing a patio or installing outdoor lighting, contact us today!