As spring brings warmer weather, now's a good time to start pulling out your lawn mower and gardening gloves - if you haven't already. But before you get to planting and mowing, there are a few steps you can take to ensure your yard stays healthy and beautiful all year long.
1. Clean up your outdoor space.
First things first, it's important to clean up your lawn, garden and flower beds. Remove any fallen branches, leaves or other debris you find from the area, including hard-to-reach places like under your deck or porch. A leaf blower may help in getting rid of yard waste, and a deep raking gets rid of dead grass and thatch build-up in your lawn. Make note of any issues you find in your yard during this process, like bald spots or patchy areas of grass.
2. Evaluate the health of your yard.
Do you notice your yard thinning out and losing color? Is it failing to absorb water like it used to? If so, you may have compacted soil from heavy foot or vehicle traffic. This compaction keeps water and nutrients from reaching grass roots. Luckily, the solution is usually simple. Lawn aeration can help alleviate this problem, and early spring is a good time to do it. Depending on the tools and experience you have, you may be able to DIY the job.
Spring is also an opportune time to fertilize your lawn. This will protect your grass against disease and nutrient deficiency.
3. Get your lawn mower ready.
Before you bring your mower roaring back to life, give it a once-over. Are the oil and gas levels where they should be? Top off fluids and make sure your blades are sharpened before you get to work. Dull blades can tear your grass instead of cutting it, which can damage the hard work you put into keeping it in great shape.
It's also a good idea to set your mower higher in spring, depending on the species of grass you have. This protects it from any unseasonal cold snaps and extra weed growth.
4. Focus on your garden and landscape.
As you hook up the hose and make sure your sprinkler systems are ready to go, grab your gardening tools and give them a rinse. You can also cut back dead growth and yank out weeds you see as your perennial plants start to sprout. For a stunning summer bloom, start planting as soon as it's advisable in your climate. Finally, if you have the time and tools, consider trimming hedges and bushes that are starting to become unwieldy.
5. Call in pros for help.
Some outdoor jobs are difficult to do yourself, like gutter cleaning and roof inspections, and you may need to hire a pro to get these jobs done correctly. If you need a hand with yard work, you can also hire a pro to come out to de-winterize sprinklers, prep your lawn for the season or set up a routine mowing service.
In addition to ticking the work off your to-do list, you'll be able to offer support to small local businesses feeling impacts at this time. Using technology to connect with pros, either by phone or video, and utilizing digital payment tools to avoid physically handling cash, checks and credit cards will reduce the need for in-person contact.
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