Winter is here – and we’re already in the middle of it! We could all feel the chill in the air as the breeze kisses our cheeks and as the snow touches our skin. It’s the coldest season of the year but it brings about a lot of delightful celebrations especially Christmas which is the most anticipated holiday in the city of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and the whole world. There are a lot of family gatherings, parties, events, and occasions that are being celebrated during this time of year, not to mention – presents!
Children singing carols as well as the sparkling lights in the streets and houses are just too adorable for words to describe. Every person just loves the feels that the season brings. Indeed, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and the season to be jolly!
Now, after the cold winter months and the holidays, the ice will start to thaw and you know that that means – it’s spring time! Spring brings new hope and new beginnings, not only in life but also in terms of gardening and landscaping. After its dormant season, it’s the perfect time to tend to your lawn and have it ready for another season of planting for gardens and landscapes. Certainly, you’d want to give your lawn or yard a fresh new look to welcome the new season, right? I bet, you most certainly do.
Planting In Spring
Spring entails a lot of things for all of us – new beginnings, hope, and utmost feeling of joy. It also means a brand new start for the planting season, whether for gardening or landscaping. Moreover, aside from fall, early spring is also a good time for planting and prepping up your lawn.
Of course, winter can bring a lot of challenges to your lawn and leave a handful of clutter that will require your attention. When the dormant season ends, you’ll have to start taking care of your garden or landscape. So, before you start grabbing tools and digging your lawn or yard, you need to get rid of the clutter first and do necessary spring garden & yard tasks to guarantee a successful landscaping or gardening.
As what they say, it’s never too early whenever you get that urge to go out and do something in the garden or landscape. Here’s a list of the must-do chores to jump start your landscaping in Fayetteville this spring.
Spring Clean Up
Rake the lawn to remove dead growth and winter debris. You will also need to rake bald spots before you reseed your lawn after the dormant season. Cleaning up the clutter helps the soil to absorb light and air which is essential in promoting grass growth.
Moreover, aerate your soil to allow greater movement of water, fertilizer, and air which encourages the growth of healthy turf. Loosening soil also increases the speed of decomposition of the grass clippings and enhances deep root growth.
In spring cleaning your landscape or garden, you should check your plants for winter damage and keenly search for other types of damage such as woodland creatures munching on the plants. Remove the damaged or dead plants and ensure that unwanted yard debris is also cleaned out of the beds.
Touch Up Mulch
Early spring is the ideal time to touch up the mulch in your landscape. Once you’ve removed the clutter from your lawn, apply a fresh layer of organic mulch, around 2-3 inches thick. Adding mulch to your landscape can improve the entire soil structure and it helps keep your soil moist when summer comes, which greatly helps in avoiding a runoff, water needs, and stimulating drought-tolerance.
In applying mulch, be sure not to stack it all over and smother your plants to death. Cover bare spots with mulch to minimize weed growth and you might also need to spread mulch around the base of fruit trees. In doing this, remind yourself to spread mulch a few inches away from tree trunks and the crowns and stems of plants.
Lime It Up
Most native soils in Arkansas are acidic, including Fayetteville. Given this, soil requires being amended with lime to increase its soil pH. Although the ideal time to do this is in fall, it’s still a must-do task for you because adding lime to the soil in early spring is highly beneficial. One of the highly recommended lime by experts is Dolomite and it should be added several weeks before the planting schedule.
To help you determine the amount of lime to be used, you must test your soil first. In the entire state of Arkansas, soil testing is a free service provided by the Cooperative Extension Service and the Soil Testing Laboratory. If you prefer, though, you can use a soil pH test kit.
Winter debris, especially fallen leaves pile up in gutters and drainage areas. Hence, it is best to clean gutters in the spring and fall to allow for proper drainage. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself dealing with annoying problems like cracked foundations, rotten wood, wood destroying insects, and washed out landscaping.
To make use of the dead leaves and branches, or any organic materials you’ve cleared out from the gutters, you can place them into the compost. According to experts, compost made in spring usually fall short of carbon-rich substances, so, the more your clear out and add to the bin, the better.
Deadwood (dead or overgrown branches or stems) or unwanted branches of trees and shrubs should be subjected for pruning. In landscaping, a plant’s natural form is best, hence, it’s important that you prune shrubs properly by following its natural geometrical forms. This will promote your plants’ growth as well as encourage flower and fruit development and maintain its purpose in your landscape.
Keep in mind that in pruning, you have to remove unwanted branches, waterspouts, suckers, and undesirable fruiting structures that detract from plant appearance. Also, don’t forget to prune large established trees, if you have any, and consider its natural form whenever possible. You can shorten its branches or twigs if it overhang homes, parking areas, and sidewalks.
Edge the borders of the beds in order to help define the division between landscape and lawn. Doing this will also prevent perennial groundcovers from getting into the lawn and keep the lawn weeds from creeping into your flower beds. If you see any bowed or leaning sides on your beds, you have to fix it right away by digging back the soil behind the bowed side. Then, drive in new stakes on the inside of the sideboards with a slight inward lean.
Furthermore, to make it easier to edge beds, don’t forget to remove unwanted yard debris out of it. Edging beds is also one way to avoid soil erosion.
Winter has its way on a lot of things including in your lawn or landscape and one of which is weed growth. During spring, the roots of these pesky weeds are shallow which makes it easier to pull them out. In addition, bald spots should be covered with mulch or perennial ground covers in order to minimize the emergence of new weeds.
There are organic ways to control weed growth, such as using salt and vinegar solution and manually pulling them off. However, you could also opt for commercial ways to control weeds. The use of black plastic sheeting to cover the beds before planting is also one way to suppress developing weeds.
Install New Lawns
Spring and fall are the best times to install new lawns with seed or sod. For this, you have to get your planting soil absolutely right before you start. In choosing the right grass seed, you can ask the local suppliers for the best ones. Bermuda Grass, Rye Grass, Tall Fescue and Zoysia Grass are the grass types that flourish in Fayetteville soil.
Seeding is less expensive and requires less work than laying sod which makes it more preferable. It may require proper maintenance, though. If you want to replant a large lawn, you may want to tackle it in sections or start with the bald spots first. Smaller lawns are easier to manage when installing new lawns.
Clean And Maintain Tools
Alright, in early spring you’ll have to rake out leaves, aerate the soil as well as mow your lawn. Given this, you have to take the time and clean your tools and sharpen mower blades. Now, in cleaning blades or tools, use castile soap and water. This is a good way to clean garden or landscaping tools and will help prevent spreading disease in your garden too.
In case you see any rust, use a wire brush or steel brush to scrub it off and apply a thin layer of linseed oil to prevent rust formation in the future. Linseed all or Tung oil can also be used to wipe down your tools once you’re done cleaning them. It protects tools from moisture, hence, avoiding rust from settling in.
Adding fertilizer to your lawn is best done in spring and in fall. Fertilizing in early spring can promote lush top growth at the expense of root growth. However, according to experts, your lawn will not yet require a full fertilizer application until the grass start to actively grow and if nutrients stored in the root zone are already running low. You have to pay attention to it because, in early spring, most lawns still have carbohydrate reserves in the root zone.
Remember, when and how often you should apply fertilizer to your lawn depends on the type of grass you grow. Adding fertilizer before the above mentioned
Way To Sum It up
Spring cleanup and doing the landscaping or gardening tasks in early springs has become a tradition among gardeners and landscapers. It is more than just an excuse to get outside after the long winter months, but the desire to freshen up the landscape as it springs to life. Indeed, spring means a lot of things for all of us and it can also be the start of a successful landscaping all year round. These tasks may be a handful for you, but it will be all worth it in the end. Besides, you still have a choice whether to do it yourself or hire a professional and credible landscaping company in Fayetteville – think about it.