Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Prep For Your Yard and Garden - BTSH Around The House Tip of the Week

Wow, in some areas the snow hasn’t even finished melting, so why are we thinking about getting our yard ready for spring? Well, believe it or not, this weekend will mark the first day of spring, and in order to make your yard tasks less overwhelming this year, it’s best to get an early start. So, when the sun is shining, take it outside, soak up some vitamin D, and get your yard in shape.

Raking and Seeding
This is a great time to rake up any left-over leaves from the fall, as well as clean up any other debris that has blown in and around your yard over the winter. Raking also helps to prepare the grass for growing season. By giving your lawn a good, deep rake, you can remove any built up thatch, dead grass, as well as lifting any matted blades to allow for new blades to sprout. Overseeding is a great practice that can be done even before the last frost. After raking, spread new seed and fertilizer throughout the lawn, concentrating especially in any bare patches. For uneven areas, add some fresh soil to level out. While some recommend that you wait until fall for overseeding, I prefer to do this in both the spring and the fall. If doing this in the spring, be sure your new seeds get lots of water. With rainy season approaching, you may be able to capitalize on this method of watering.

Herbs and Vegetables
If you’re thinking about a herb and/or vegetable garden this year, now is the time to plan. There are several things you will want to take into consideration when planting.

Annuals vs Perennials—Determine which plants are Annuals (will need to replanted each year) or Perennials (will return year after year). For lower maintenance gardens, try to focus on planting mainly perennials.

Planting from Seeds or Plants—If planting from seeds, you will want to start potting these indoors soon to ensure proper germination. For best results, plant indoors approximately 2 weeks before last frost, and transplant into your garden after last frost.

Placement of Plants—Take into consideration how the sun rises and sets in respect to your garden and be sure to plant accordingly. Some plants will require more sun than others. As well, be sure to take into consideration the anticipated size that the plants will grow to, and avoid blocking the sun from smaller plants with larger plants. Space your plants appropriately. Some plants require more growing room for roots then others. Most nursery plants and seed packs will provide instructions for this.

With all this being said, if you live in Canada, don’t put that snow-blower and shovel away just yet. While many areas have experienced spring like temperatures in the recent weeks, there is always a possibility for more snow. Check with your local weather authority to see when they are forecasting last frost to ensure safe transplanting.

Written by Shauna Lynn, Beyond The Stage Homes

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