Attention weekend warriors! It’s almost time to fire up those weed trimmers, pull out the gardening trowels, and hit the local home and garden stores for all the springtime lawn and garden must-haves. Before you head out, here are seven good-to-do tips from the lawn and garden experts at askHRgreen:
1.Get Your Soil Tested - Why buy water-polluting fertilizer if you don’t need it? A soil test provides a list of recommendations for soil amendments to help you make the right decisions for your spring lawn.
2. Seed Bare Spots - Bare spots aren’t just bad for curb appeal, they allow dirt to get carried away with rainwater and cloud up aquatic habitats. They’re also an indicator that something is wrong with your turf. To fix bare spots, test your soil, consider soil amendments, and investigate other ground cover options that might do better in your yard.
3. Plant More Plants - Trees, shrubs and perennials beautify your yard and reduce water pollution more than grass. A bonus—you won’t have as much grass to mow when you replace lawn with flower beds and trees. Go all out and choose native plants which are adapted to thrive in our climate. They also require less water and fertilizer throughout the year.
4. Water Wisely - There’s so much you can do to conserve water while you are watering! Watering in the morning when the sun is low and temperatures are cooler minimizes evaporation by 30 percent. Make sure your sprinklers aren’t watering your driveway to maximize efficiency. And for free water, install a rain barrel to collect rainwater from your downspouts to use for all your outdoor water needs.
5. Mulch to Perfection - Cover your flowerbeds with 2 inches of mulch. It helps to prevent soil erosion, seals in moisture, and reduces weeds.
6. Clean Up Your Mess - When your outdoor work is complete, make sure you clean up the right way. Leaves and yard waste should always be composted or disposed of in accordance with your locality’s requirements (bagging, placement, etc.). Also, if you have applied fertilizer, make sure none has fallen onto hard surfaces like sidewalks and driveways. Sweep fertilizer back into your yard to minimize water pollution.
7. Ask The Pros - If you’re not a do-it-yourselfer and prefer to have someone else maintain your landscape, do your homework before hiring a contractor. Make sure his services do not harm the environment or local waterways.
For a list of eight questions to ask your lawn care provider, visit www.askHRgreen.org.