It feels like that time of year again! Time to pack up the scarfs and gloves and head outside. Below are a few steps to get back in the swing of things but remember, March weather can be rather fickle and frost is still possible, so plant with caution!
Remove any winter debris or leaves from lawn
Debris like leaves and sticks that have fallen into your lawn will choke out your plants and advance the growth of mold spores, lawn fungus, and plant disease. In the spring, Reliable Landscaping will remove twigs, tree branches and debris that entered your yard during the winter. Our spring service also includes the removal of leaves and debris from your deck, porch, window well, or any other part of your property. When we’re done, you’ll be left with a beautiful, well-manicured lawn that’s prepared for the summer. Request this service!
If you need to begin mowing, remember to set your blades high. Cut at 3” or higher to prevent brown spots. Call Reliable Landscaping now to set up your lawn maintenance schedule. We’ll work with you to develop a plan that meets your needs and your budget. Request this service!
Aeration, Lime and Fertilizer
Spring fertilization can be done anytime between March and May. If you chose to use the organic pre-emergent corn gluten, you are already adding nitrogen to your soil. Or, you can choose to use one of the organic or traditional fertilizers that contain no pre-emergent or weed kill.
Aeration is possible as soon as the cool-season grass has resumed active growth in the early to mid-spring, but should not be done after temperatures warm to levels where the grass will likely be under stress. Extensive core cultivation done in the late summer to early fall gives the turf the optimum recuperative potential.
The soil in Virginia tends to acidic due to the amount of clay found in the soil and the number of trees in the landscape. For that reason, it’s important to lime your lawn. Grass likes a pH of around 6.2. Lime can be applied at any time of the year when the ground is not frozen. If you don’t know your pH, you can purchase a soil test kit which will measure the pH level in your lawn.
You may be applying more fertilizer—or the wrong kind—if you haven’t had a soil test done in the last 3 or 4 years. Get a “Turf Love” soil test and home visit by a Master Gardener for $30 by calling Virginia Cooperative Extension at (757) 564-2170. The testing will give you information on your soil texture and composition, pH, lime content, and available phosphorus, and potassium. Find out more here.
Mulches are materials placed over the soil surface to maintain moisture and improve soil conditions. Mulching is one of the most beneficial acts a homeowner can do for the health of a tree. However, improper mulching materials and practices may have little, or even negative, impact on the trees in your landscape. Call us today or request this service here.
Apply Pre-emergent Weed Killer
March and April are the best months for putting down pre-emergent that prevents crabgrass and Japanese Stiltgrass from coming back year after year. You can choose from a number of products: organic pre-emergent that contains corn gluten or traditional crabgrass pre-emergent with Dimension. You may even decide on a second time to put down the pre-emergent during the first week of May because crabgrass also likes to come back a second time. Request this service here.
If you missed the ideal time (fall) to plant small trees and shrubs, plant a few now but only if you’re able to keep up with watering while the new tree takes root. Spring planting can be taxing since the plant is trying to produce top-growth as well as root systems but it can be done, just be extra vigilant. It’s better to try now than in the dead of summer. Request this service here.
Mow your Liriope to a height of 2 to 3 inches. Avoid damaging the crown of the plant since that is where the new growth emerges. Divide and transplant hostas, liriope, daylilies, dicentra, Shasta daisies, and coral bells before new growth starts.
Fertilize daffodil bulbs with bonemeal as leaves emerge. Do not mow the area until the bulb foliage begins to die back because the leaves “feed” the bulbs for next year.