Some people can’t wait to get outside and fertilize, plant, and weed. Others pave their yards or hire gardeners.
At Buzz, we love being out in the yard, getting plants in shipshape, and spending quality time with our fence. If you’re like us and are itching to put your hands in some soil, read on. Here are a few tips to get your yard ready for spring. Keep in mind the average date of the last freeze in your area: in Dallas County, this usually happens between March 4 and 12.
Early March is the right time to plant ornamental trees and shrubs and cool-season annuals, such as snapdragons, English daisies, poppies, larkspur, petunias, pansies, and alyssum. If you like to grow veggies, you can start planting your spinach, lettuce, and radishes. Later in March, you can add cucumbers, sweet corn, snap beans, mustard, and lima beans to your vegetable plot. Just make sure your backyard won’t get flooded while planting. This is a fun time to visit your local nursery, as customers are excited about gardening and lots of gorgeous new plants are arriving.
The important thing to keep in mind when pruning is that some plants should be pruned before spring growth and some after. Ornamental grasses, ground covers like Asian jasmine and English ivy, should all be trimmed before new growth. But spring-blooming shrubs and vines, such as azaleas and forsythia, should be trimmed after they bloom. Daffodils and other spring bulbs deserve their full moment of glory. Remove their foliage after it dies back and starts to dry up.
Instead of a willy-nilly approach to fertilizing, best gardening practices require soil testing before fertilizing shrubs, shade trees, and ornamental trees. If your pecan and fruit trees need fertilizing, do it before buds break. High-nitrogen fertilizers work well on ground cover and summer-flowering shrubs. Fertilizing pansies and other winter annuals can extend their bloom time.
Keeping weeds in check
Spring is when plants start to grow like crazy – including weeds. You can mix up your own natural weed killer. Combine a gallon of white vinegar, a cup of salt and a tablespoon of liquid dish soap. Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and hit the weeds during the sunniest part of the day for best results. Or go to your hardware store and buy the hard stuff to knock out your most troublesome weeds.
Making sure your lawn looks and feels its best with soil testing. If it turns out your soil is acidic, you can amend it with lime.
There are two main ways to test your soil: send it off to a lab or do it yourself. You can buy a DIY soil testing kit at your hardware store. If you want somebody else to do it, contact your local ag extension office or a lawn care service. For example, Texas A&M offers soil testing.
If for some reason you can’t get your soil tested, and you’re keen on adding lime, the general guideline is 15 to 20 pounds of lime per 100 square feet of lawn area. Pelletized lime is easier to use than the messy powdered type.
How’s your fence?
While you’re spending all this time with your plants, you’ll also be communing with your fence. How’s it looking? Any saggy boards? Grime? You know your friends at Buzz are here, ready to help you with any fence concerns.