Mar 02 2016

DIY Made Easy: Spring Lawn & Garden Care

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Five easy tips to get growing this year

 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. March 14, 2016 — Spring is just around the corner, so now’s a perfect time to wake up your lawn and garden from the long winter. Whether have a green thumb or not, these five easy tips from Westlake Ace Hardware will help get your lawn and garden green and beautiful in time for summer—and possibly make you the envy of the neighborhood.

1)   Mow Early, Mow Right: A common mistake many homeowners make is not mowing their lawns early enough in the spring. A good mowing right now, with the collection bag attached, will help remove old debris and give the lawn a neat appearance. Also, since most grasses should maintain a three-inch height for optimal health, a spring mowing will trim off excess early grown and get the grass ready for the season.

Make sure your mower engine is tuned up, has fresh oil and a clean air filter, and a sharp blade. If your mower has seen better days, now might be a good time to take advantage of early season sales and purchase a new model like a Toro Personal Pace Recycler Lawn Mower. Many of today’s lawn mowers are self-propelled, which makes the job easier and faster. The recycler feature puts finely chopped and nutrient-rich grass clippings back onto the lawn where it can be used as food.

2)   Weed, Feed and Seed: After a long winter, your lawn is hungry. A combination fertilizer/pre-emergent product like Scotts Turf Builder + Halts will to give it a solid meal and prevent weeds in one easy application. Small bare spots in the yard can be easily seeded with Scotts EZ Seed. Just make sure to not apply weed control to newly seeded areas or the grass seed will not germinate. After you’ve done all this work, give the lawn a good drink to promote fast growth and quick green-up.

3)   Clean and Revitalize: Clean out your garden and landscaped beds, removing dried leaves, branches, and dead plants from last summer. Some weeds may already be growing, so now the best time to dig them or apply a weed control product. Once the beds are cleaned out, add organic matter (such as peat moss, compost or cow manure) and a slow release fertilizer into the top two inches of the soil, working it in with a cultivator tool. This will revitalize the soil and ready it for your plantings.

4)   Add Mulch: Once the beds are cleaned out, apply up to three inches of mulch, especially around the bases of trees, shrubs and perennial plants. Not only will it give the beds a neat appearance, it will help prevent weeds and diseases throughout the summer. Additionally, it will help the soil maintain consistent moisture levels.

5)   Plant Your Veggies: March and early April is the best time to plant cool-season crops like peas, spinach, arugula, lettuce and leeks. If the soil is free of ice crystals and isn’t too wet, you can plant. If you live in an area where a hard frost is a possibility, be prepared to cover the young plants with overturned pots, sheets, or plastic at night (making sure to remove the cover once the air temperature warms above freezing).

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