Spring cleaning begins outdoors.
As Florida’s short winter comes to a close and springtime weather makes its debut, it’s time to think about ridding your yard of broken branches and fallen leaves. Take note of these practical steps to get your yard back in tip-top shape.
Make sure your shovel, rake and other gardening equipment is up to par—no rust and no splintered wood. If you have an irrigation system, check that it’s properly functioning regularly.
Remove any garden debris, such as leaves and moss, that has accumulated during the colder months. Pro tip: Once the yard is cleared, give the lawn a boost by spreading a thin layer of aged compost, about 1/4-inch thick, evenly over the grass.
Re-seed bare patches in your lawn. Loosen the surface you wish to re-seed with a rake or shovel to a depth of 2 to 4 inches, then level the soil with the back of a garden rake. Next, spread a mixture of grass seed and compost over the area. Pack the surface down with the flat end of a garden rake to secure the seeds (otherwise they may blow away), and water accordingly.
Aside from making your garden look marvelous, mulching also helps moderate soil temperatures, maintain soil moisture and deter weeds from growing by increasing the population of beneficial soil microorganisms.
Mo’ Mowing, Less Problems
Mow your lawn frequently to a height of 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches. Although keeping the grass tall will require you to mow more often, it will also produce a tougher turf that crowds out weeds. During the summer, the grass will be less susceptible to drought and extreme heat.
Fruit-bearing plants like sunflower, echinacea, cotoneaster, honeysuckle, viburnum, aster, salvia and zinnia are known to attract birds to gardens. One bird can consume up to 1,000 bad bugs a day. Start digging a flower bed—the more birds the merrier.
When planting a flower bed, take into consideration the soil type and sun and shade patterns. Most plants grow best in soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Before plants are in the ground, be sure to loosen the root ball so that plant’s roots can quickly adapt to the soil in their new space. Last, thoroughly water the new sprouts and keep the soil slightly damp clear into summertime.