Spring is just about to begin, March 20th, to be exact. If you love gardening, landscaping, or just spending time outdoors on your property, then the arrival of spring weather (especially here in Michigan) might seem almost like a second Christmas! If you’re an avid landscaper then I’m sure you already have a spring landscaping checklist you follow- if not, we’re here to help with some basics!
It’s a wonderful gift, the sunshine, and warmer weather & blooming flowers, but it can be a lot of work too -whether you have a sprawling lawn or a small city plot. And if you want your landscape to look its best all year long (and in the upcoming years), there are several things you’ll want to make sure you do on your spring landscaping checklist.
Keep the following in mind this spring season.
Michigan winters aren’t only rough on the residents, but they are rough on grass and plants too! Make sure to examine your landscape carefully for signs of damage, including:
Circular patches of grayish or pinkish grass. This is a common sign of snow damage, causing mold, a fungal lawn infection. Grayish snow mold is typically less serious, while noticing a pink hue generally indicates that damage has surpassed the blades to the roots and crowns of the glass.
Patchy brownish or orangish grass. Typically, this is a result of de-icing salts damaging your grass. This can be fixed by watering it a little extra in those spots and maybe some gypsum (calcium sulfate) which is a soil conditioner to help break down the remaining salts.
Rodent damage- if you have noticed any surface tunnels, lines in the grass, or “volcanos” of your soil, then you probably have a problem with moles, voles, or other rodents.
For your lawn to survive and thrive, the soil will need a steady supply of moisture and nutrients and a way to easily transport nutrients where they need to go. You will need to get this done because your soil most likely has become hard and compacted. Even though air and nutrients can reach the surface, they have a difficult time getting all the way to the roots. Another possibility causing your soil to not receive the nutrients it needs is the layers of thatch (dead grass) builds up on top of your lawn.
Compact soil is dealt with by aeration. If you are doing this process yourself, you’ll need to soften the soil with an inch of water, then use the aerator the next day to help break up the soil. After you finish aerating your lawn, make sure to follow up with fertilizer and lots of water to help the grass recover.
Regular pruning is key to keeping your plants healthy. Damaged and dying stems invite pests and disease, which can jeopardize your entire plant.
It’s known that the dormant season is typically the best time to prune most varieties of shrubs and trees. By clearing out damaged or diseased branches will allow them to heal faster and encourage healthy growth. If you have yet to do your pruning this winter, then the early spring is your best (and last) chance before bloom season!
When springtime rolls around, you know it’s time to start planting. Hardier annuals and flowers can be planted in April, while the plants that are more sensitive to colder weather will benefit from waiting until May. Remember that different types of flowers and plants have varying requirements in terms of needed soil, water, and sunlight that allow them to live a healthy life. You’ll also want to make sure your flower beds are healthy and disease-free.
Don’t forget to plant for beneficials! Beneficials are insects that help your landscape by acting as pollinators and natural pest deterrents. A few known beneficials include parsley, cosmos, purple coneflower, sage, thyme, and bee balm.
At Clark’s Landscape, we take pride in our work, listen to our customer’s visions, and offer excellent service to all our residential and commercial customers. If you are looking for a lawn care company in the West Michigan area, you can count on us! We offer lawn services, installation, design, and MORE!