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Prepare Your Lawn and Garden for Spring

Photo Looking to grow a great vegetable garden or a lawn that rivals the manicured fairways of Lake Presidential Golf Club? While we have yet to officially start enjoying spring, this is the perfect time to get things ready for a productive growing season. Here are some easy tips to follow to ensure that both your lawn and garden have a fruitful year:
Lawn Preparation
  • Raking and Mowing You probably thought you were done with raking once we said goodbye to fall, but raking and mowing after winter will help alleviate the buildup of thatch in your lawn. Thatch is the collection of dead stems, leaves and shoots from your grass, and its presence will make it harder for your lawn to absorb water and nutrients throughout the year. Mowing your lawn short and doing some gentle raking will take care of this ahead of the spring growing season.
  • It's Lime Time Adding lime to your lawn will help lower acidity levels and resolve any issues with the pH balance in the soil. Adding lime over time will bring the acidity level back into balance, but it’s a common myth that you can never add too much lime — adding too much will result in soil that suffers from an alkaline acidity level.
  • Weeding Makes Way for Seeding Nothing ruins a beautiful lawn timeline more than those pesky weeds, but you can take some steps ahead of spring to ensure that your lawn is as weed-free as possible. Pre-emergent herbicides aren’t really weed killers, they’re more like preventative measures against weeds because they limit the seeds’ ability to germinate in the soil. Make sure you aerate your soil before you use pre-emergent herbicides because aeration makes it possible for weeds to work through the barrier that these herbicides create. And if you’re worried about using chemicals in your lawn, there are plenty organic alternatives available.
Garden Preparation
  • Prepare Your Plant Beds Clear your planting area of any debris or winter mulch. This is a good time to start removing any weeds or sod that you have growing into your gardening area. It’s also the perfect time to dig into the soil and incorporate a three- to four-inch layer of compost or manure. Then, rake the soil until it’s level and loose — this will help oxygen and water reach roots better.
  • Composting This is the perfect time to start composting if you don’t already. You can take things like grass clippings, coffee grounds, vegetable peels and other organic matter and turn it into nutrient-rich, natural fertilizer and soil conditioner for your garden. It’s easy, inexpensive and a great way to make the most of the things we all throw away.
  • Plant Veggies and Flowers Even before spring starts, you can still plant certain types of vegetables and flowers. There are some cool-season vegetables that perform best in the early spring, and they will extend your garden’s harvests throughout the year. Planting summer-flowering bulbs and seeds now will result in a beautiful display for the summer months, and it’s the perfect job for a cool, windy day. Likewise, hardy vegetables, such as onions, potatoes and artichokes, can be planted now. Be sure to check the ideal planting dates of whatever you plan on sowing this season!
There are plenty of other tips you can follow to help you grow a greener and more productive lawn and garden this year. For even more advice and ideas, take a look at these resources: