Do a Spring Clean-Up. Rake and bag old leaves and debris. Cut back dead plant foliage that was left up last fall for winter interest. Edge your beds, walks, and fertilize beds and lawns. Apply a preemergent to stop the germination of crabgrass in your lawn.

Cultivate beds and power rake the lawn. Cultivating beds kills weeds that are just emerging. Be careful digging around your emerging perennials. Power raking breaks loose last season’s grass that is now yellow and dead. Removing this thatch layer is extremely helpful in making room for the crowns of the grass to expand. This also helps with pest and disease issues once summer heat arrives.

Start watering. It has been chilly in the morning and we might have one more cold snap, but it’s time to water. If your hose is stiff from being stored in the cold garage all winter, stretch it out in a straight line on a sunny day for one to two hours. Remove any kinks and twists, the sun’s heat will make it pliable again.

Apply grass seed and peat moss covering to fix bare or sparse areas on your lawn. Warmer temperatures are more conducive to rapid seed germination and the best grass growth. The first two weeks after seeding are the most important in its journey from seed to lawn. Spring rains are sufficient for germination, but if there is no rainfall, please water to keep the seed covering moist. Within 10 days or less, you will see germinating grass and be on your way to a vibrant lawn.  

Start your irrigation system. If you have irrigation at your property, schedule a start-up appointment with your irrigation contractor.

Set up lawn furniture. Shake off your furniture covers to remove leaves and debris that may have settled within the covers, and sweep your paved areas and underneath your furniture.

Mulch: Install mulch before your perennials get too big. Shredded bark mulch is great for open areas in beds and around woody plants and leaf compost is great around perennials, groundcover, and vegetable gardens.

Add seasonal color: The frost-free date in our area is May 15th. Tomatoes and other warm-season vegetables and flowers should stay in a nice warm greenhouse until after Mother’s Day. If you have planted them outside, cover them with an old sheet in case the temperature drops below freezing overnight to protect them. Uncover them the next morning.