After the harsh winter season, everybody looks forward to the moderate temperatures, sunshine and the usual spring showers in spring. I normally look forward to this time of the year, particularly after spending the whole winter hibernating indoors.
During spring, it is not only we humans who thrive under the warmth and little bit of sunshine. This weather always perks life back into my yard that had been dormant under inches of snow. Grass starts to grow at an alarming rate which I normally have to deal with.
Then there are also marks left behind by the winter weather which I have to deal with. I believe I am not always alone in this as you may also be going through the same ordeal every year. This is why you need to know how to get your yard ready for spring, and as a bonus, it will become the envy of your neighbors.
Do Some Raking
During winter, leaves and garden debris might accumulate all over your lawn. These leaves and garden debris will make for a not so great lawn look. You, therefore, need to clear all these before doing anything else. After winter, the first thing I do is rake the whole of my yard. I do this to rake up those matted areas that were under the snow.
Raking your backyard has other benefits too. In a way, the yard is aerated after months of being pinned down by snow. Aeration helps in keeping the grass nourished. The rake also removes the layers of thatch that blocks sunlight and water from reaching the grassroots.
Prepare your tools
Over the years, I have realized that the grass, vegetables, and flowers in my yard grow at an alarming rate in spring. Once in a while, I have been caught unawares in my attempts to control the yard weed since my two line trimmers had all broken down without me realizing.
To prevent such mishaps, do a check of all your yard tools to see which ones need to be repaired, replaced or cleaned. And if you have an irrigation system, check to ensure that it is in a perfect working condition. This is because the snow might have damaged it, and your plants and grass will not get all the water they need to grow.
Prune the Trees and Shrubs
Winter provides the best time for pruning your shrubs and trees. At this time, the new growths have not started sprouting out, hence the spread of diseases is controlled at this time. The pruning has to be done very carefully to prevent stressing the shrubs.
Pruning of fruit trees should be done before their buds start blooming to prevent stressing them. Otherwise, you could end up with a tiny crop. If your yard has any dead or ailing branches, then it is better to prune them at this time so that they do not fall off in Spring.
Fertilize the Lawn and The Plants in Your Yard
To ensure that the plants in my backyard will be well nourished and green in Spring, I normally use a combination of organic and chemical fertilizers. By composting the mulch from my mowing activities, the leaves and the scraps from my kitchen, I always have a supercharger for my plants.
In spring, the fertilizer application has to be light and the heavier one to be done in fall. If you overdo it, you might attract a weed problem or even diseases. Or it could be that you had applied fertilizer during fall: The plants are still making do with that and only needs a little.
You Have to Apply a Pre-emergent Herbicide
The application of a pre-emergent always goes hand in hand with the application of fertilizer. This is more so when you have an annual weed problem, such as crabgrass. A Pre-emergent is a type of herbicide that controls weeds by killing their seedlings before they emerge.
The pre-emergent herbicide does this by forming a sort of shield around weed seeds that in turn prevents them from germinating. It is not only crabgrass that you will be fighting, as there are also dandelion weeds. Although their yellow flowers look kind of beautiful to me, I don’t allow them to grow in my yard.
Core aerate your lawn
This is another preparation activity that I never miss while preparing for the spring sunshine. I find core aeration beneficial to the yard as it allows air and water to reach the plant roots at a much faster rate.
In return, root development will increase, and the plants will grow to be firmer onto the ground. But before you do this, you should ensure that the soil temperature is between 55-60 degrees. Beyond this temperature, the voids created as result of aeration only attracts weeds.
Re-Seed Damaged Parts of The Lawn
Winter snow can deliver unimaginable damage to your lawn and the entire yard at large. The moment the snow subsides and the warm sunshine shows, I always assess the extent of damage caused by the snow plows and salt.
Before you reseed any damaged portions, ensure you have not applied the pre-emergent to the soil. This herbicide is non-selective when it is preventing seeds from germinating. All your work will, therefore, be in vain. If the weather permits it, you can hold off the use of the pre-emergent until the grass has germinated, then apply it.
Perform Tests on the Soil to Determine the pH
If you have a soil test kit, you can do this on your own, or you can seek for the services of your county extension for the same. Knowing the soil pH helps you in determining what plants to grow in your yard as they all prefer different pH levels.
Most plants and grass as well will grow well in pH values of around 6.0 – 7.0. Then there are those that grow in acidic conditions of between 4.5 to 6.5 pH levels. These plants include azalea, hydrangea, heather, etc.
Mow the lawn frequently
One of the mistakes most people make is mowing their lawns less frequently and at an inappropriate height. Letting the grass grow too high and then cutting it stunts the roots and makes them reproduce less effectively.
What you can do is mowing the lawn after five days for about six weeks if the weather allows it. A mowing height of about 2 ½ to 3 ½ inches should be decent enough. The cutting blades should be in their sharpest states so as not to toughen the grass.
Everybody would want their lawn to shine again and be attractive to the eyes after the winter season is over. To realize this, you must know some of the tips to apply in getting your yard ready for spring. The tips discussed above in this article will come in handy in preparing your yard for spring. You will just be required to put them into practice and wait to be amazed by the results.