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Friday, March 23, 2018

How to Get Your Yard and Garden Ready for Summer Fun

The Spring is an excellent time of year. Winter's harsh weather goes away and the new season brings moderate temperatures, sunshine, and new growth. During this season you can start living outdoors again.

Spring is a good time to start working on your yard. Here are a few projects that can help you prepare your yard and garden for summer fun.

1. Control Pests 
Garden pests, like aphids, love new growth. If you see trees and plants with poorly formed or curled leaves, this is a sign of aphids. These pests usually target fruit trees, citrus trees, and roses.

To remove aphids from your plants, wash the foliage frequently using a strong jet of water, to blast the aphids away. You can also use horticultural oil or insecticidal soap. If you want a more natural treatment, release ladybugs into your garden at dusk.

If you have a problem with slugs and snails, you can bait them, or remove them by hand. 

2. Prepare Flowerbeds
Amend your planting bed soil with organic matter. Start by spreading 3 inches of compost on the garden's surface. If you have sandy soil, you'll want to work the compost into the ground.

Compost can benefit the soil in many ways. It can enrich the soil, help maintain soil temperature, keep down the weeds, and help retain moisture around your plants. 

When applying mulch around a tree, make sure to keep it back several inches from the trunk.

3. Plant and Maintain Vegetables and Flowers
You can successfully plant vegetables, flowers, and other plants during the Spring. When you can plant would depend on your local climate and weather conditions. Contact your local garden center for specific information and planting dates.

When the weather allows, you want to start planting your summer vegetables, like tomatoes, corn, melons, and beans. This season is also an excellent time to set out summer-flowering bulbs and annuals.

If you live in a colder climate, you can plant cool-season vegetables like cauliflower, leafy greens, and broccoli. Even in cold climates, like the Northeastern U.S., you can plant a bare-root rose during the Spring. Make sure to fertilize the rose after the blooming cycle advise Outdoorartpros.com.

4. Prune
The best time to prune hedges and evergreens is when the new growth begins. Fruit trees should have been pruned in the winter when the tree was dormant. However, you can prune mature fruit trees in the Spring and Summer to strengthen and shape them.

5. Take Care of Your Lawn
For most parts of the country, Spring is an excellent time to begin making lawn improvements. You can start by watering your lawn and digging out deep-rooted weeds, like dandelions.

If your lawn's growth has slowed during the winter, apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, according to the manufacturer's directions. Generally, you need one pound of nitrogen for 1,000 square feet of lawn space. However, the amount required depends on the type of fertilizer you choose, read the label carefully to ensure you have the correct amount.

As the weather warms up, you should raise your lawn mower blade to 1-1/2 to 2 inches. The height increase will help make your grass more resistant to the summer heat.

6. Water and Irrigate
Small plants and seedlings need water. You'll need to plan how to manage your garden's water needs during the heat of the summer.  You'll also want to consider how drought conditions can affect your plan.

For example, if you live in an area that is prone to drought,  you'd want to avoid planting a large number of summer annuals, which require an abundance of water. 

If you have an irrigation or sprinkler system, Spring is a great time to do maintenance work or repairs.

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