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Beyond Lawn Care- Part Two of Two: Your Spring Garden Prep Checklist

Spring always has a few weather surprises in store for us, and this year has featured more abrupt changes of direction than most. Your preparations for a new growing season might have already been underway when cold conditions suddenly returned. Now temperatures are rising steadily again, and we expect that trend to continue. Here’s our full list of tasks we recommend to get your garden ready to start and stay healthy.

Start a New Compost Pile

You may already have a space set aside for composting, but if you don’t, you can easily create an enclosure with scrap wood or materials available at any garden store. Then start layering last fall’s leaves with the foliage and appropriate food scraps you’ve been setting aside to get a fresh supply of compost cooking.

Set Up Your Rainwater Collection System

It’s time to place rain barrels, watering cans, and other containers in open areas of your yard to store rainwater. However, remember to cover rain barrels when rainfall ceases to reduce mosquito activity. Unless there’s a well on your property, the water from your hose comes from your local water system and, when measured in the pH scale, is likely to be slightly alkaline. You can address this imbalance with rainwater, which is usually a little acidic. Using rainwater also reduces water waste and saves you money.

Spring Pest Inspection

At this time of year, you’re probably not seeing many of the bugs that would like to make a meal of your plants, but it would be a mistake to assume that they died in the cold or went south for the winter. Many of them are hibernating just under the surface of your yard. Dig up some of the top layer of soil and check it for weevils, snails, slugs, and aphids. If you’re not sure whether you need early intervention, a lawn care company can help. Your Arbor-Nomics technician can help identify and treat any pests.

Do You Need a Soil Analysis?

Here’s the simplest of all tests of soil conditions: Grab a cup of soil and tamp it into a ball. Then hold it about three feet above the ground and drop it (or just break it apart with your hands). If it comes apart in solid pieces rather than crumbling, your soil contains more moisture than is optimal for plants. A lawn care professional can advise you on more extensive testing and remedies for any problems you identify.

In addition to weed control, an experienced lawn service company like Arbor-Nomics can provide lawn fertilization, outdoor pest control, and much more. Our Certified Landscape Specialists are ready to help with all of your lawn service needs, going beyond grass to ornamental plants and shrubs. And if your trees need more attention, our sister company Arbor-Nomics Tree provides specialized care.