Spring is a pretty easy season, all things considered. We’re rather easy to please because we’re just happy that everything is finally greening up again. Things are growing and budding and blooming but they’re still manageable. Even my clients who complain about a lack of a green thumb can make their yards look great in spring. Keeping everything looking great all year, though, is another story. Here are some pro tricks that will help.
Tip 1: Mow it right
Grass is pretty amazing when you stop and think. It takes a lot of abuse, from kids running over it to homeowners and pros using whirling steel blades to cut it, and it just keeps on growing. How about giving it a little love? First, you want to make sure to cut your grass at an appropriate height. For most cool season grasses like fescues, that can mean 3-4”. That will help shade out weeds and retain moisture at the roots. Also, keep your blades nice and sharp because dull blades lead to torn, ragged, unhealthy grass that’s prone to disease. A clean cut at the proper height can make a huge difference.
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Tip 2: Edging makes everything look more finished
As you drive through a neighborhood, one way you can tell the professionally maintained properties from the rest is by the edging. Does grass spill over the sidewalks and driveway or is there a clean, sharp line between the lawn and the pavement? I have photos of my dad, way back in the 1970s, edging his lawn with a shovel. It was labor intensive enough that he only did it once or twice a season. It’s a lot easier to use a tool like the WORX 56V Max Lithium Cordless String Trimmer and Wheeled Edger. The trimmer’s wheels allow you to keep a consistent depth without getting fatigued, and the cordless power means you’re not choking on fumes while you work or accidentally resting your arm on a ripping hot exhaust. When a task is easy and almost fun you’ll do it more often. Edging your property as little as once or twice a month will make your property look crisp and professionally maintained all season long.
Tip 3: Keep your beds looking fresh
It’s late July and your beds look like they’ve seen better days. Spent flowers are drying and looking sad, weeds have popped up, and the mulch is turning that unattractive pale silvery brown we see late in the season. How can we fix this?
As with any task, a little vigilance can go a long way. If you pull weeds as you see them you won’t fall behind. While you’re in there pulling weeds you can trim back spent flowers (but if you can be a little patient the seed heads are great for beneficial critters).
Freshening the mulch can be as simple as raking and fluffing it to break that silvery crust and show some dark wood. For a more consistent color you can always do a very light (1.5” or less) topdress of new mulch, but be careful. If you keep adding mulch faster than it breaks down it can build up and cause issues for your plants.
Seem simple? Well, sometimes less is more. Now you know a few of our professional secrets for a great looking yard all season long.