Now that the weather is starting to act more like spring, it's time to hit the yard. In today's Owning Your Outdoors, our yard and garden expert, Doug Schroeder from Lewis has some tips for getting your lawn and landscape ready for spring.
We're going to start with your lawn. Spring is the perfect time to patch up spots that winter might have damaged and do some general overseeding that will get your yard going for the entire season.
Spot seeding is repairing spots that you have in your yard. There are a number of products made made just for seeding and repairing spots. These products contain fertilizer, mulch and seed all in one. If you put that down and keep it moist, you will have grass.
Overseeding. When you overseed, rake up the debris and excess grass in your yard. This will break up the ground a bit and give the grass a nice bed to seed into. When you're done raking, run the mower over it and pick up the debris so your seed has a nice clean plate to get started on. You can use a broadcast spreader to spread the seed and then follow up with a starter fertilizer.
After your lawn is set and ready, it's time to jump into your landscaping.
With most perennials, you will need to cut back the dead growth. As you start to clean away the dead grass and vegetation, you'll see that there are a lot of things that are already emerging.
Your sedums are likely beginning to emerge. With sedums, cut back all the dead growth as close to the ground as you can without damaging the new growth.
Hostas can be cleared away in the fall or spring. Just pull away the old growth to reveal the new plants.
Ornamental grasses should be trimmed back to about 8 inches off the ground. Doug suggests wrapping a bungee cord around the grass and then cut below the cord. This makes clean up a snap.
The general rule with shrubs and bushes is that if it's a spring blooming plant, wait and trim it after it blooms. All other shrubs and bushes can be trimmed in the spring. Spirea can be trimmed to the ground. With roses, you should be able to see the green on the stem by mid April. You can trim roses back to the green. You should wait to trim your lilacs after they bloom in the spring. With hydrangeas, Doug suggests that you wait until the plant has completely greened up and then trim back the dead growth.
Right now is a perfect time of year to separate daylilies. Dig around the perimeter of the plant, about 6 inches out, and separate the ball from the ground. Try to remove as much dirt from the roots as you can. After doing that, look for a good place to divide. Split them down the middle with a shovel. After the split, place one part back into the ground. The other part can be planted in a new location. In fact, each individual plant, if the root is intact, can be started as a new plant.
One last thing Doug suggests is to put down a granular weed preventer in the landscape. This will prevent weeds from coming up throughout the summer and make maintenance much easier throughout the year. Applying an extended release fertilizer to your perennials will keep them well fed through most of the growing season.
When you're all done, apply a new, fresh layer of mulch to give your landscape a fresh look for spring.