Landscape Design

Spring is on its way, in spite of some less than perfect weather. It's an exciting time of year, the days are getting longer, it's getting warmer, and hopefully, we'll start seeing some green things growing soon. But, before spring gets well underway, our yards and gardens can be a bit sad and messy looking. Now is an excellent time to get started with cleaning up and refreshing your yard to help it look its best.

Here are some tips for how to clean up your yard for spring in Northwest Arkansas.

Improve the soil in your vegetable garden or flower beds by adding a layer of compost, or adding a slow-release commercial fertilizer. Organic fertilizers are a little slower acting, so they're ideal for this early-spring treatment.

Refresh the mulch around your trees and shrubs. During the winter, mulch can compact under the heavy snow. Sometimes the combination of rain and spring thaw causes mulch to wash away from trees and shrubs. Now is a great time to top it up with a fresh, even layer to protect the roots of your trees and shrubs.

Wake up your lawn with a little extra TLC. Spread grass seed in sparse areas and start applying fertilizer in mid-March. Keep the new grass seed damp, watering at least once per day, until they're growing well. Avoid the temptation to mow the lawn until the newly seeded grass is 2", or more, tall.

Inspect trees and shrubs before they start to leaf out for any weak or damaged limbs, and inspect evergreens for winterkill. Prune summer-flowering trees and shrubs in early spring, and prune the ones that flower in spring right after they finish flowering.

If you do need to do some pruning, never remove more than one-third of the plant per year. Look for branches that are broken, rubbing against each other, or visibly dead. Remove suckers from around the bases of your trees, and thin out the canopy of trees to improve air circulation.

Check on any perennials, especially ones that were planted last year, for signs of life. If you've got large or old bunches of perennials, consider dividing them. Divide perennials that bloom after mid-June in the spring. Perennials that bloom in early spring should be divided in the fall. If you've lost any perennials, you might be able to replace them with divisions of another perennial. If you've got too many extras after dividing them, ask around to see if your friends or neighbors would like some!

Check your lawn furniture over for any damage. Yearly exposure to summer sun and frigid winter storage can cause the wear process to speed up on fabrics and plastics. Check your cushions for holes, tears, or threadbare spots. Check over the frames and exterior finishes of your furniture for any weak spots or damage and repair or replace damaged items as needed.

Inspect and sharpen your garden tools. If they've been sitting around over the winter, they may have picked up some rust or may need some oiling up to get them moving smoothly again. Get your lawnmower to a small engine mechanic for a spring tuneup and blade sharpening before you need to start cutting the grass.

Cleaning up your yard now will save you plenty of work later on when things in the yard are really starting to green up! Take a little time this weekend to have a look around your yard to see what might need doing. With your spring chores out of the way, you'll have so much more time to enjoy the warmer weather. If you need any new tools or nuggets of sage advice, head on over to one of our garden centers in Northwest Arkansas! Our team of expert staff can help you find the right tools and information to get the job done.

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