Spring Has Sprung!
Apr 09th 2015
Now that spring is finally here…
WHERE DO I START IN MY YARD?
Okay, so if you’re a native Floridian like me, you’ve possibly been waiting for this season since the first cold snap back in November…brrr. Not to mention been awaiting days were the sun shines for more than six hours a day (if that) and longing to get out doors without multiple layers on only to shred them off by 3 O’clock in the afternoon. But most importantly, a chance to get outside and play in the yard to prove to yourself that those countless hours spent on Pinterest pinning hundreds of cool yard ideas are going to be put to good use.
See, to me, spring doesn’t just bring more sunlit warmer days, but it brings hope! Hope for all the poor dreary bleak yards everywhere. First things first, before you can start putting together those multiple layer flower beds and start admiring that award winning lawn which of course will be all the envy of the neighbors, you’ve got to find it first, right. You probably no where I’m going with this…raking. I know, I know, after all that raking you did in the fall you’d probably like nothing more than to never see one of those back breakers again, but unfortunately if you want that award winning lawn, or hey just a healthy presentable one you’ve got to start here. Raking not only clears your yard of that unwanted debris but it also does double duty by removing debris and thatch. A small layer of thatch is good because it puts nitrogen back into the soil but too much thatch can produce the perfect habitat for moisture-loving fungi and other pests or pathogens.
Once you’ve found your yard again, it’s a good idea to get your soil tested. Why? Well, think of your lawn like you would your body. Most of us take vitamins to perform our best, your lawn isn’t any different. For example, that patch in that back yard that never seems grows any grass, or that weird yellow circle in the front yard. Plain and simple it’s missing some key nutrient. By preforming a soil test, you can find out exactly what nutrient your problem area is lacking so the area in question can be on its way to perform its best. Soil tests can usually be performed by your local lawn care service or you can go to your local IFIS office and pick up a kit to do it yourself.
Once you have your soil issues under control, the next step will be focusing on stimulating grass growth. If you noticed, I said stimulating the Grass Growth. So, for those of you that are hard core fertilization addicts, stop please! I know this may be hard for some to grasp, but you know how your lawn is ready to green up and grow so are those pesky weeds, so if you over fertilize, guess what’s going to grow tenfold with those super nutrients you just feed into the ground WEEDS..ekkk! Go easy on the fertilizer and use a pre-emergent. Pre-emergent is not a weed killer as much as it is as ‘weed preventer,’ its purpose is to keep the seeds from being able to germinate, and giving your lawn a fighting chance.
Next on the agenda, pruning or lack thereof. Most of us have Azaleas, you know those fluffy evergreen bushes that bloom fragrant pink, purple , and white flowers from late February to early April, leave them be folks. Yes, they look of straggly now, but they are about to be the first sign of new life in your landscape. You never want to prune these precious North Florida staples until about a three week period after they finish blooming in spring. This gives the azaleas plenty of time to make flower buds for next year. If you prune in summer or fall, you’ll cut off the flower buds and assure yourself green blobiness next spring. And when you do execute this operation, please use a good solid pair of “loppers. Now, onto my biggest pet peeve, Crepe Myrtles. If I accomplish anything at all with this article, hopefully I can prevent “Crepe Murder”. Again, like Azaleas, we have an abundance of Crepe Myrtles in Gainesville, and the most common mistake is to whack these beautiful plants into ugly stumps. Point in case below.
Crepe Myrtles like to be trees but if you like yours a little smaller than you want to just trim the sucker branches and any branches that are not pointing up. Prune them on a 45 º angle 4”-10” inches above the previous year’s cuts. This picture portraits a perfectly manicured Crepe Myrtle.
The possibilities are endless for your spring yard. These are just a few tips to you get you started. If you need further assistance in beautifying your yard, give us a call at Evergreen Lawn Care of Gainesville Co.