landscaping and gardening

Landscaping and Gardening

As the weather warms, there are tasks to be done to make sure that your garden and landscape are at their best during the growing season. These tasks include the care of lawns, trees, flowers, shrubs and even hardscaping. Here are some lawn care tips for spring:

Reducing bare spots in the lawn

Rake the spot where the seeds are to be sown, so they can have good contact with the ground. Sow about two to three times as much seed in the area as is directed on the bag then cover with a fine tilth of soil. Water every day, but don?t mow the new grass until it?s about 4 inches high. As for the rest of the lawn, it should be mown with increasing frequency and lightly fertilized around mid-April.

Vegetable seedlings like tomatoes, squash, eggplants and herbs can be planted in the garden after the danger of frost is over. Ideally, the seeds should have been started indoors about six weeks before this, and the seedlings should have been hardened off. This means that when they have a healthy number of leaves on them, they should be put outside during the day and brought in at night for about a week. Then, they should finally be left out overnight before they're put into the ground. These flowers include poppies, calendula, limanthes, stock, cape marigolds and snap dragon.

Prune roses before the new growth comes in. Start hoeing regularly to keep down the weeds. Lift and divide established perennials like iris, and mulch borders with compost or rotted manure. Put new plants in hanging baskets and window boxes.

Bring out the garden furniture

Ideally, tools should have been sharpened before they were put away for the winter, but if they're not sharp, they should be honed now. Dull tools are dangerous, both for the gardener and the plants. Replace badly worn or split boards in the deck, and check the deck?s substructure to make sure it?s sound. Check to see if any of the hardscaping has cracks, depressions or standing water after a rain. If there are, repair or remove them. Check the pointing of any hard surface like brick, and make sure that any retaining wall doesn?t have weak spots. If it does, have someone fix it.

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