Tips for Spring Landscaping
Late winter is the ideal time to cut back ornamental grasses. It can be fairly easy to cut back ornamental grasses with a pair of pruners, loppers or shears. You can also secure the top growth with a bungee cord or piece of twine and cut the dead grass back with electric or gas powered hedge trimmers. This method can be particularly useful on cutting back large sized grasses.
Late winter is a good time to prune runaway vines because you can visibly see where the vines are growing and remove them from nearby plants. If you wait until spring and the leaves are already on the trees and shrubs, you may miss an overgrown vine that could potentially be choking nearby plants.
Other tips to prepare for spring:
-Clean gutters to prevent water from drowning plants below.
-Cut back perennials almost to ground level.
-Remove dead wood and suckers from trees and shrubs, both evergreen and deciduous.
-Plant dormant trees and shrubs.
-Move dormant plants.
-Dig and divide emerging perennials.
-Scrub clay pots.
One of the first things you should do to the yard in early spring is remove any debris that has accumulated over the winter. Working on a soggy turf can be detrimental, so you should wait until the soil has dried.
It is not helpful to apply large amounts of nitrogen fertilizer first thing in the spring. Fertilizing turf grasses in spring is beneficial, but needs to be done in moderation. Heavy applications of nitrogen fertilizer in the spring can cause lawn problems if it has been mowed a few times before fertilizing, typically very late April or early May.
Choose a quality lawn fertilizer that contains controlled release, slow-release, or water insoluble nitrogen. All of these terms refer to nitrogen sources that will release small amounts of nitrogen to the turf over an extended period of time, which leads to more uniform and healthy lawn growth. These materials are especially important to use in spring.
Spring also is a popular time for seeding new lawns, but early fall is actually the optimum time because fall weather conditions are more favorable for the new turf and weed pressure is much less. Spring seeding can certainly work out very well, but oftentimes hot weather sets in before the new lawn is well established. If starting a new lawn in spring, try to seed it by mid-April.
Source: University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension in Lancaster
Spring Lawn Care Tip #1: Raking
Raking will be your first task of spring lawn care. Raking is more than raking leaves. It also controls thatch, which is build-up of more than ½ inch.
Spring Lawn Care Tip #2: Check for Compaction
If your lawn is subjected to high levels of traffic year after year, it may eventually start to show signs of decline. In such cases, your lawn is probably suffering from compaction
Spring Lawn Care Tip #3: Liming
Spring Lawn Care Tip #4: Overseeding
Is your lawn riddled with bare patches due to dog spots, heavy traffic or neglect? If so, you may need to apply grass seed to fill in those bare patches. This solution is known as “overseeding lawns.” Apply a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer when you overseed. Five weeks after the grass germinates, apply a quick-release nitrogen fertilizer.
Spring Lawn Care Tip #5: Fertilizing