Bring your yard back to life

Bring your yard back to life

Is spring here? Has is sprung yet? It sure seems like it has. This is the very best time of year to clear away those dead winter leaves and make room for fresh, vibrant flowers and plants. It’s time to bring our yards back to life.

Let’s think about some details that could be taken care of now and not later when temperatures, tempers and humidity soar. How about making sure that the drainage ditches and rainspouts are cleared of debris? You’ll be ready for those April showers. Remember that your new little plants will love you more if you give them a garden bed with good drainage.

If your yard is like mine, there are lots of areas with weeds that need to be pulled. The weed roots are usually a little smaller now and easier to pull than when they are knee length and thick. Once the weeds are pulled, you have an excellent opportunity to bring in the mulch. Mulch will help you fight the weeds and help keep moisture that your new little spring plants need to thrive. Add mulch to a depth of 3 inches or so. Some energetic gardeners lay thick newspaper before mulching to help in the weed battle. Keep the mulch a few inches away from tree trunks.

This is great time to make a trip to find bags of compost or mulch (in case you didn’t make your own compost). Just top-dress the existing soil with manure and enriched mulch before planting to make your garden beds just a little more fertile for this spring and summer.

Get out and rake the lawn to remove dead growth. Re-seed or patch bare patches of lawn. Don’t miss the step of raking the bare soil a little before seeding. Sprinkle grass seed into a bucket of soil and spread evenly over the bare spot. Cross your fingers and don’t let these patches dry out. Your turf may just look better than your neighbor’s this year.

Sharpen your clippers and pruners and get to work. Prune trees and shrubs after new growth has begun. Prune roses just before they start to bud out. Spring blooming trees and shrubs shouldn’t be pruned in late winter. Wait until they flower and wither and then clip, clip, clip.

The first flowers to show up each spring are especially important since they help pull in the bees. We all want the bees. A healthy resident bee population is needed throughout the growing season. Plant flowers in clumps if you want to attract bees. A clump of flowers attracts more bees than individual flowers. Bees are looking for flowers of different shapes to suit their different tongue lengths. (Yes, different species of bees have different tongue lengths!)

And finally, deadhead any blooms that are on their way out. The bees will love you. The flowers will love you. And you might just feel pretty good about yourself after getting your yard in spring shape.


Joette Reger is an avid gardener and prides  herself on staying up-to-date on the latest gardening activities and tips. She can be reached by e-mail at joreger [at] msn [dot] com and on Facebook at “Gardengate with Joette Reger.”