Spring is definitely in the air and many of us are gung-ho about getting out in the yard and getting some things growing.
But before you start planting, there are a few things you'll need to do to prepare your garden and yard for the best possible growing experience. A little elbow grease now means a lot less work for you later.
Your first foray out into what may be the "forest" of your yard, after lying dormant all winter long, might seem a little daunting. Don't worry, this isn't rocket science. Just dig in, follow these tips, and you will see progress sooner than you might expect.
Ready, set, grow!
Start by doing some basic cleanup.
• Gather up debris, like tree limbs, twigs, brush and overgrown weeds from the yard. You'll want to wait until the ground isn't too wet and muddy to rake the dead leaves. By removing this debris you are letting fresh air and sunshine get to the grass and plants underneath.
• Start your compost if you don't have one. Transfer your "yard trash" – brush, dead leaves, twigs – over to your compost and watch it recycle into rich, fertile soil.
• If your grass is patchy, you can take this opportunity to reseed. Scratch the soil with a rake to loosen it up, cover with a mix of grass seed and soil and keep watered until the seeds being to germinate. Try to keep off the areas where you are patching in the new grass as well.
• Check your perimeter for any blown-over fencing, walkways that may need repairing or any other structural damage that could have happened with winter weather. If you find any problem areas, address them now so they don't become even bigger problems in the summer.
• Cut back any dead growth on perennials– for instance pansies, ivy or lamb's ear – and prune any shrubs or trees in order to promote new growth.
When you've followed these basic steps, you'll have a jumpstart on getting your garden growing, with a debris-free, healthy landscape.
Twinkle VanWinkle has more than 20 years of professional cooking under her apron strings, feeding thousands of friends, family and other folks. She baked apple pies for the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and has appeared on Food Network's "The Best Of..." Along with producing dynamic lifestyle content for LIN Media, she is a mother, urban gardener, chef, musician and social media fanatic.
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