GARDEN BLOG

Getting Your Yard Ready for Spring

Winters can take a toll on your backyard. The cold temperatures and rain can damage lawns and destroy the grass, shrubs, and trees. Once winter is over, you need to come up with a plan to return your yard to its former glory. 

Here are some tips from a Sonoma County landscape designer to ensure your grasses, shrubs, and trees come back fuller and lusher than ever in spring. 

Clean Your Yard  

The first step in preparing your yard for spring is to clean up twigs, leaves, and other debris that accumulated during winter. You should get rid of dead grass blades before they turn into thatch. 

Rake leaves off your lawn. Use a wire or metal rake instead of a plastic one. Raking achieves more than just leaf removal. When you rake your lawn, you also dethatch it. 

In early spring, apply a combination of fertilizer and a pre-emergent herbicide to your lawn. The fertilizer will provide essential nutrients to your grass, whereas the pre-emergent herbicide will prevent crabgrass, one of the most annoying(and most challenging to remove)invasive weeds. Keep in mind that timing is important when making any fertilizer or herbicide applications.

Fertilize  

A pre-emergent herbicide will address weeds before their seedlings can emerge. It forms a chemical barrier in the top layer of soil that coats crabgrass seeds, stopping roots and shoots from growing.  Whenever applying any product to your lawn and landscape, be sure to read and follow the directions on the label.

Six to eight weeks later, apply the combination again always following label instructions. Remember, if you allow weeds to come up once, you will be fighting them all season. 

Mow Regularly 

If you do not mow frequently, the grass in your lawn will grow too high. Cutting overgrown grass will affect the health of the grass as less sunlight will penetrate down to the root crown. To avoid this problem, mow every five days for the first six weeks of spring, depending on the weather. This will help ensure a healthy, thicker lawn. 

Trim the Trees and Shrubs

Get rid of dead branches before they fall andcause extensive damage. Be careful not to trim growth. If you do not have any experience trimming trees, consider hiring a professional. 

Trimming shrubs is a relatively easier task. Do not trim flowering shrubs until after bloom. If you do so, you may end up cutting off limbs before they produce fruits or flowers. 

In general, follow these rules when pruning:

 – Remove dead/dying or diseased wood first

–  Remove crisscrossing branches

– Prune to thin as opposed to heading back cuts

–  Prune flowering shrubs after bloom if flowers occur on older growth

-Remove no more than 30% per season

–  Make cuts close to a growth junction – branch, stem or bud

Mulch 

Edge out your beds and trim back dead branches. Now is the right time to replace your mulch. Some property owners prefer fir bark mulches over ground wood chips as they last longer and look better. Succulent gardens may prefer gravel mulch. Gardenworks Inc. is a renowned landscape designer in Sonoma CountyOnce our professionals understand your needs and preferences, they will develop an action plan to transform your vision into reality. To schedule an appointment, call (707) 857-2050.