Preparing for the Spring Growing Season

Preparing for the Spring Growing SeasonWith the winter behind us and spring fast-approaching, all of us here at Turf Shield are looking forward to getting back outside and enjoying the famous Atlanta greenery.  Unfortunately, the sudden, heavy rains and fluctuating temperatures that characterize the Georgia winters can be extremely hard on lawns and gardens, so it is often necessary to take steps, even before the spring growing season begins, to get your outdoor area back into shape.  Here are some steps that you can take in late winter and early spring to help ensure that your lawn or garden looks its best.

Rake Your Lawn

In most parts of the country, grass is dormant during the winter months, but is ready to spring back to life in the spring.  However, the weeds and dead plant matter that accumulate over the winter months can often get in the way.  Start off the spring season by getting rid of the weeds and raking your lawn thoroughly to remove the winter debris.  This allows light and air to reach the level of the soil, which encourages the grass to grow.

Revitalize the Soil

Your soil is likely to be dried out and compacted after a long winter.  Spring is an excellent time to add organic material, like compost or manure, to replace moisture and valuable nutrients and to aerate the soil to improve its consistency.  In particular, pay special attention to plant beds and areas where you want to encourage new growth.

Move Your Shrubs

Over the course of the year you may come to think that a particular hedge or bit of shrubbery would be more useful or attractive in a different spot.  Now is the time to make that move.  The early spring is more favorable to transplants because the soil is more consistently moist, which helps new rooting to expand from the transplant zone and reach out for more nutrients.

Re-Seed Bare Patches

Spring is also the time to re-seed areas of the lawn that have been worn bare by foot traffic.  First, rake the bare spots firmly with a metal rake and then sprinkle them evenly with new grass seed.  Don’t forget to keep the areas well-watered until the seeds germinate and the new grass is firmly established.

Prune Your Foliage

Larger plants that have survived the winter, like trees and shrubs, may require pruning so that they will continue to grow in the coming months.  Ornamental blooming plants should be pruned right after they bloom to avoid cutting off future flowers, while fruit trees should be pruned well before their buds begin to bloom to avoid overstressing the tree and reducing the crop.

Plant New Flowers

Once you’ve handled all of the old plants, it’s time to turn your attention to new ones.  Spring is an ideal time to plant daffodils, lilies, crocus, hyacinth and any other bulbs as well as new vegetables like kale, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.  Remember that new bulbs often need to be protected from sudden, unexpected frost and disease with a one to three inch layer of mulch as well.

Putting in a little bit of effort to prepare your lawn or garden for the coming spring can provide big payoffs down the line.  Our lawn care specialists can work with you to determine exactly what measures you should take to keep your yard looking its best.  If you have any questions about any of your landscaping needs, or about any of the customized lawn care treatment packages that we provide, please contact Turf Shield to get more information.  Don’t forget to follow Turf Shield on Facebook  or Twitter to get all the latest updates and lawn care tips.

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