Every year like clockwork, winter comes to a close and the cold and dreary climate gives way to the burgeoning spring season and the promise of new growth. Of course, this also signals the perfect time for a thorough spring cleaning. But this goes beyond clearing out the attic or getting rid of last season’s old clothes. The outside of the home is just as in need of some annual TLC as is the inside; no area more so than the yard or garden.
Yes, the winter months can wreak havoc on a yard or garden and all but ruin the beautiful landscaping that defined it before the chilly weather set in. These areas can look the worse for wear after a long winter and may even appear beyond saving. But rolling up the shirtsleeves and getting to work on yard beautification is the best way for anyone – man or woman – to start anew and get into the spring spirit.
Here are some basic tips for turning a yard in recovery into a spring sensation.
Clear the debris
Winter storms can wreak havoc on a yard in the form of fallen branches and piles of leaves. The best remedy is to set aside a good chunk of time in which to clear all tree debris from the yard. Once that is taken care of, then it’s time to get down to the business of pulling the weeds that have likely cropped up during the winter months. Once this is complete, homeowners should then plan on spending 10-15 minutes one time per week maintaining a weed-free yard.
Fertilize, fertilize, fertilize
There’s no way around it, those who want to ensure a thriving lawn or garden are going to need to fertilize. That means everything: grass, flowers, shrubs – the works. The good news is that there is nothing about this process that needs to be complicated. In fact, there are a number of different fertilizers available from home-supply stores geared for a number of different purposes and a number of lawn and garden types. Terf builder is one popular option for those who want to give their lawns a fighting chance to thrive. Plus, there are organic weed killers on the market that can make the aforementioned weed hunting a breeze.
Tip: those growing food — such as herbs, fruits and vegetables — should use only organic fertilizers containing no pesticides.
Don’t shy away from mulch
It can be depressing to gaze upon a limp garden ravaged by the effects of a cold winter. But there’s no reason to lose hope because mulch can save the day. Just one layer of this stuff on a flower bed can bring the plants roaring back to life. Professional landscapers suggest applying four inches of mulch over the top soil, which will help retain moisture and prevent growth of those pesky weeds.
Tip: pull mulch away from the base of the plant, as this will help protect the bulb.
Maintain a functional irrigation system
Whether working with a complex in-ground sprinkler system or a simple garden hose, it’s best to test the equipment at the dawn of the spring season. Those with sprinklers will want to ensure the unit’s pump and tank are in good working order, as a couple winter months without use may compromise their functionality.
By following these simple guidelines, even the least green-thumbed of homeowners should be able to bring their yards and gardens back from the brink of winter extinction.
Our guest author, Jason Smith, writes for Australian Outdoor Living (AOL), a home improvement business based in Adelaide. AOL specialises in cafe blinds, roller shutters, pergolas and artificial lawn.