Monday, May 9, 2011

Spring Ahead and Catch Up!

It's been an unseasonably cool season, but after a few set backs and false starts, Spring is finally here! Time to get out in the garden ...

After a very long Winter, your yard and gardens are going to need some work and you're probably anxious to get started. So anxious in fact that you've probably already been out in the yard in a knit hat and gloves, trying to get a head start. Good for you - we often seem to go directly from Winter to Summer, so you don't want to miss a single Spring day and Fall even further behind!

If you're just getting started, no problem: start with a little Spring cleaning. This means removing leaves, debris and soil mounds around roses, raking out areas of thatch and cutting back perennials and ornamental grasses. Cleaning also means taking inventory of your gardening supplies: toss any expired seed, fertilizers or pesticides and repair or replace necessary tools.

The next big step is to stay a step ahead of weeds. Professional lawn service (by David J. Frank, of course!) really is affordable when you consider the cost per bag plus the time it takes to research, buy and apply the right "weed 'n feed" product. Regardless of how it gets there, get pre-emergent weed control plus fertilizer on your lawn as soon as possible. If crabgrass and other nuisance plants get a comfortable start in your lawn this spring, they'll be with you all Summer.

Finally, it's still a bit early for most annuals but you can start seeds indoors. Cosmos, cleome, allysum, California poppies, bachelor buttons, blue flax, marigolds and sunflowers are all extremely easy to grow from seed and will be ready to add color as soon as Mother Nature adds a few more degrees to our now-chilly overnight temperatures.

Now's also the time to update some existing flower beds or design a new one – on paper. Depending on the size of your project, you may want to work with one of our landscape designers for a plan that takes into account light, soil conditions, plant height and overall harmony in the garden. Having a "shopping list" is also a good idea if you're just stopping at a local shop for a few things – like going to the grocery store on an empty stomach, visiting a garden center with a bad case of spring fever can lead to a car-full of beautiful but mismatched plants.

The next few weeks will be busy ones for gardens and gardeners alike. Just don't forget to slow down from time to time to enjoy the changing scenery!