Spring is here, which means that it is time to get those flower beds in shape for beautiful color all season. Whether working with a landscaping company or doing it alone, a homeowner can get a jump on the growing season by taking a few simple steps to prepare their garden.
The best landscaping maintenance services all agree that good preparation is essential for a great landscape. Take care of these few pre-season tasks, or hire the best landscaping service to get started, and enjoy the results as your garden springs into bloom with the warmer weather.
Eradicate Weeds Now
Because weeds grow quickly, landscaping companies say the moment the soil begins to warm, they tend to show up in lawns and landscaped beds first – before all other growth. This is the prime time to treat for them, to prevent re-growth.
Use pre-emergent weed control in beds (or spot-applied post-emergent weed killers if they are already growing), to kill off weeds before they sprout, or to prevent them from reproducing. Good landscaping maintenance services recommend using newspaper and gardening cloth to help keep weeds out of flower beds and planned, landscaped areas.
Mulch Flower Beds and Other Areas
Determine if the mulch left over from last fall is safe to leave, or if it should be removed, and fresh mulch applied. Landscaping services say that decaying mulch – as long as it looks healthy and is not filled with weed seeds – can be turned into the soil to create a richer soil for landscaped beds.
If there is any doubt, or if mulch is not composting and just seems old, it is better to remove and replace it with new mulch. Besides putting mulch in flower beds to be planted, use it around shrubs and trees as well. Mulch that is in good condition helps keep weeds away, and helps to prevent evaporation when water is delivered directly to plant roots.
Now is the Time to Prune
Landscaping companies say fruit trees should be pruned before there is active bud growth, making early spring the best time. Early blooming shrubs and bushes should be allowed to flower, then pruned afterward.
Professional landscaping maintenance services suggest proper pruning at the right time keeps these plants healthy and hardy, so the next blooms are more plentiful. Landscaping services also point out that even pruning to control shape or size must be done at the appropriate times or there is risk of causing damage to the plant, so be sure and take advantage of this time.
Start Seeds Indoors
Even though it is probably still too cold to put seeds directly into the ground, good landscaping services say decorative landscaping and edible plants can be started indoors, then transplanted once the soil is warm enough. Check seed packets to see how long before planting each type of plant should be started, and when it is safe to put them into prepared beds for the best chance at survival.
Besides these few clean-up and preparation tasks, the other important thing for homeowners to take care of is getting their mowing and gardening equipment cleaned and sharpened if not done in the fall. For those who plan on hiring a landscaping company, bed preparation should be scheduled well in advance of planting time, and done by the best landscaping maintenance services to ensure a beautiful, healthy landscape!