Easy, cheap ways to get your lawn ready for springWritten by Julie Ryan | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring doesn’t have to be here to start cleaning.
Along with removing brush and leaves from the yard, Margie Black, president of Premier Gardening Services, said gardeners should look for snow mold on the grass because of a long snow covering this year. Look for flattened grass stems and then break up the fungal mat with a wire rake so new grass can grow.
Lorie Lewis, designer and salesperson for James Landscaping & Lawn LLC, said gardeners gather ideas for their lawn and hardscaping by visiting local garden centers or the garden show.
In the meantime, think about the shape of the lawn and whether to have a fertilization-service consultation. She said people are beginning to invest in their homes and lawns as opposed to traveling.
“If you want to make improvements, you can plan for home projects, such as deck, water feature, planting more flowers,” she said.
Lewis said most landscapes last 15 years and then need to be re-landscaped with fresh ideas and planting.
Lewis recommended planting annuals after the frost date, which is typically May 15, but can be as early as May 1. Black said you can also look for the forsythia blooms as a sign to begin uncovering protected plants.
Black said perennials work well in gardens because they will return each year. However, they are more expensive than annuals, and even though annuals will die in the fall, if used properly, they add color to the garden throughout the summer.
“Annuals give you a lot for your money because they give you a lot of bloom all year long. May, June, July, they just keep on going,” Black said. “Make pockets of annuals; make a big enough pocket to add splash.”
Lewis recommended different flowers for sunny and shady areas. Impatiens, which are annuals, are a No. 1 seller for their color and ability to grow in shady areas, she said. Hostas, a perennial, perform well in shade.
“They’re pretty awesome because you basically plant them and water them and they go to town,” she said.
In sunny areas, Lewis recommended lilies as many varieties are nonstop bloomers during the summer. Geraniums, with some deadheading, will also keep blooming. Knockout roses, although a shrub, add a lot of color, she said.
“Everybody loves knockout roses,” Black said. “They bloom until you get a hard frost and get through winter without a lot of protection.”
Black said geranium roseanne has longevity and hydrangeas will live for years.
Lewis recommended utilizing planter pots to save money. The pot is reusable each year, and using a soil mix and mulching the top will cut down on the maintenance during the summer. The pots also come on wheels and can be moved around for extra enjoyment, she said.
Black said she buys hanging baskets that are already growing and transplants them to a pot. The pots and perennials can be over-wintered in an unheated garage, she said.
“Basically it’s a nice hobby with lots of exercise. It’s work, but it’s also therapeutic,” Lewis said.