6 spring landscape design tasks to do now

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Just when you thought you could take a rest after shoveling all that snow, spring creeps up and hands you the hoe. Here are a few quick tips for spring landscaping that will give your landscape design plan a good start.

1.         Rake. Thatches of clumped dead grass, leaves and debris must be cleared out or your landscape will not only look splotchy but it could attract pests. Rake the lawn and the garden plots well before you do anything else.

2.         Mow. Check your engine on your mower first. And no, it isn’t too early to mow, providing the grass is fully green with no brown patches. Grass grows even through late frosts, and it’s likely to get too tall for a regular push-mower to chop down if you neglect it. Hire a professional with a rider mower if the grass has sprouted up more than a few inches. Don’t forget to rake up the dead grass if you don’t have a mulching mower. Look for “cool season” grasses like fescue, bluegrass and perennial ryegrass for the Northeastern corridor’s climate zone.

3.         Weed. Lots of pesky plants pop up early. Clear the little weedy bits that are peeking out of the garden, the walkway edges and paver seams. By getting a jump on the weeds now, you’ll save a lot of time later.

4.         Sow. Spring is a great time to get that grass seed in the soil. Aerate the ground and toss the seeds by hand or with a lawn product spreader. Water well and often.

5.         Fertilize. Gorgeous golf clubs and grand estates have landscape designers and maintenance crews who know that fertilizing is an important step. Grass will need more nutrients than soil and rain can provide to get the lush look of a commercial landscape. Use the spreader to evenly distribute your favorite grass food. If your lawn seems to invite dandelions to stay, add some anti-weed formulas to the fertilizer or to your water spray.

6.         Hire a pro. A cadre of full-time groundskeepers isn’t necessary for home lawn maintenance. Many landscaping companies would be happy to help for affordable prices. Ask around for recommendations for full service packages, or hire for specific tasks. Great curb appeal depends on the landscape of your home and the homes in your neighborhood. Hiring out help for something so important isn’t a bad idea. That way, you can kick back and keep that hoe in the shed with the snow shovels.