Whether winter is mild or harsh, outdoor spaces often need to be prepped to welcome in the next seasons. Snow may have hopscotched by our area this year, but there were plenty of gusty winds bringing down branches, soaking rains causing erosion, and temperatures that dropped just far enough to cause hardier plants to say a last goodbye.
April showers do bring May flowers, but an even more promising approach is proper prep work! Rather than start and stop outdoor cleanup, check that you have everything you need before beginning. Are there tools that need replacement? Are all hoses in working order? What are your preferred methods of enticing plants to grow?
Start this project by reviewing your garden shed’s inventory.
- Make sure all tools are accounted for and in working order. Check your local hardware store about sharpening services as it may prolong the lives of your clippers, pruning shears, or lawn mower blades.
- Grab mulch early! Typically, the first shipment of mulch sells quickly as homeowners dash to freshen up garden beds. Map out your home’s needs today to ensure that you purchase enough for coverage. You might even pair with a neighbor for a large delivery.
- Test hoses for leaks and take sprinklers for a spin. New plants love fresh water!
- Don’t forget sunscreen and a great gardening hat. Often warm weather motivates us outside and it is easy to forget that our skin has yet to acclimatize to the spring sun. Add some SPFs to gardening supplies to avoid a dash back in the house.
Dedicate a day to yard debris with a slow walk around your property, collecting any branches that have made their way to the ground.
- Clear out garden beds of leaves and plants that did not survive the winter.
- Examine trees and shrubs for signs of disease, dead limbs, or crowding - typically a quick trim will promote positive growth in the coming months.
Do you know your planting zone? The Triangle area sits in Zone 7 which means overnight frosts have the potential to last until mid-April. While sunny days will make it tempting to start planting, wait until the end of April to make any floral moves. If you must plant early, have a few old sheets or light towels on hand to tuck them in during those popup cold nights. Other tips for beautiful beds?
- Select plants based on your soil’s PH content. Not all soil is the same and knowing which plants do best in your neighborhood may save you from a failed flower bed.
- Plan your space. Will you coordinate bloom colors with your home or mix it up? Do you know which plants will rise high and should be located in the back of your space? Is there a convenient water source nearby?
While it is common to associate aerated or fertilizing lawns with fall, Herring Homes’ communities are south enough to make these spring events. Aerating loosens soil that has become compacted opening the door for more air, water, and nutrients to reach roots. For those who love a lush, green, lawn this is key!
- If you do fertilize, choose a product that matches the needs of your soil based on its PH level.
- Opt for a slow-release or controlled-release fertilizer as these encourage less runoff and more absorption where you want it.
- Shop organic! Many brands include organic options in their lawn care dossier.
- More is not better when it comes to fertilizer. Make sure you apply only what is needed.
Flower beds and lawns will need maintenance throughout spring and the following seasons. Take care when deciding on prevention methods for both weeds and bugs. Many pesticides are not friendly to bees, birds, or butterflies, but there are other options.
- To tame one-off weeds, mix 1 gallon of white vinegar, 1 cup of salt, and 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap. Store it in a clearly marked spray bottle and apply as needed.
- Sprinkle larger areas with cornmeal or polenta to stop weeds from germinating.
- Bug control should be focused on diverting rather than killing. Mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water, then spray the perimeter of your home and yard. For outdoor dining areas, spray table legs or screens.
Each of Herring Homes is built with attention to craftsmanship and quality. As home buyers take ownership, maintaining a beautiful exterior is often a priority. A perfectly manicured lawn and blooming flower beds are both ideal highlights of your dream home. This season, start early by preparing your plan for outdoor perfection.