We all want a lush, green lawn, healthy trees and bushes and thriving garden beds. But every homeowner knows that this beauty only comes on the heels of much hard work. Here are some important to-dos you must attend to in order to cultivate a beautiful landscape all summer long.
Clean out beds
Those leaves you put on your garden beds (or that haphazardly blew into your beds!) last fall did their job. They added nutrients to the soil and protected fragile perennials. Now it’s time to thoroughly rake out your garden beds. Removing decayed leaves from around your perennials will expose the dirt…and maybe even some new growth!
Once the snow melts and the ground starts to thaw, weeds make haste and ‘spring’ into action. As soon as they erupt, start pulling them up by the roots. Without vigilance, weeds will quickly take over and choke out new growth.
Till & Fertilize
The freezing temperatures, dry air and snow cover dry out soil and pack it down. Tilling hard soil loosens it up so roots (and root vegetables!) can easily burrow down into the soil and drink up valuable nutrients. Tilling in compost or fertilizer replenishes nutrients drawn out of the soil during last year’s growing season as well as those that died off during the long winter months.
After you weed, till and fertilize, adding mulch around the base of your perennials will keep the weeds at bay and add an attractive aesthetic throughout your landscaping. Consider applying a granular weed preventer on top of your mulch for an even more aggressive approach to weed control.
Some homeowners are shy about pruning for fear of damaging growing trees and shrubbery. However, pruning can revitalize tired, scraggly greenery by helping channel more energy and nutrients into the rest of the plant. The secret to effective pruning is knowing when to prune. Spring-flowering shrubs are best pruned immediately after flowering. This allows gardeners to enjoy the beautiful display of blooms and prep the shrubs for next season’s growth. Light to moderate pruning should be sufficient for healthy shrubbery.
Prune non-blooming and summer-blooming trees and shrubs in late winter when they are fully dormant.
Water and Irrigate
One main key to a lush, green lawn and healthy plants is consistent watering. Traditional irrigation systems, while certainly helpful, don’t take all factors into account. Now, with the invention of IoT devices for consumers, “smart” irrigation systems are available to homeowners looking for a custom irrigation solution. Smart irrigation systems monitor weather conditions, soil conditions, evaporation and plant water usage and adjust the watering schedule to actual site conditions.
If you’re longing for a beautiful landscape all summer long and don’t want to go at it alone, remember McDonough. We’d love to partner with you to bring your lawn to life!