SPRING CLEAN-UPS

Spring is here and its time to get your yard in shape.

We rake compacted beds, remove debris that may have built up over the winter, power blow and hand rake to allow air and water in to get your flowers off to a strong start. A full spring cleanup includes:

  • Cutting back of perennials
  • Blow leaves and debris from landscaping
  • Mow lawn
  • Bag and haul away all organic matter

There are many other services that can be done in the spring.  That includes:

  • Dethatching
  • Grass over seeding
  • Bush / shrub trimming
  • Tree trimming
  • Fertilizer / crabgrass pre-emergent
  • Leaf cleanup

Trees and Shrubs

If you have any tree or shrub branches that have been damaged by cold, snow, and wind, they should be pruned back to live stems. Use a handsaw for anything larger than ½ inch in diameter. Shaping hedges with hand pruners, rather than electric shears, prevents a thick outer layer of growth that prohibits sunlight and air from reaching the shrub’s center.  Summer-flowering shrubs, such as Rose of Sharon should be pruned, before buds swell, but wait to prune spring bloomers, like forsythia, until after they flower.

Perennials and Grasses

Prune flowering perennials to a height of 4–5 inches and ornamental grasses to 2–3 inches to allow new growth to shoot up.Thin crowded beds and divide them, leaving at least three stems per clump, and transplant them to fill in sparse areas.  The better plants are spaced the more flowers you will get.

Beds and Borders

Raking out fallen leaves and dead foliage  will prevent the possibilities of smothered plants and disease.  Once the threat of frost has passed, removing the existing mulch will set the stage for a new layer once spring planting is done.   Now is a good time to spread a pelletized fertilizer tailored to existing plantings on the soil’s surface so that spring rains can carry it to the roots. Add a 5-10-10 fertilizer around bulbs as soon as they flower to maximize bloom time and feed next season’s growth.

Why should you remove old Mulch.

When added year after year, mulch can actually harm plants by creating a layer that doesn’t decompose and doesn’t allow root growth. The soil becomes so matted that nutrients and water can’t penetrate to the roots, and the plants will suffer.  Excessive mulch causes rot in the trunk, creates a home for insects that attack the tree, and encourages the development of a secondary root system. A tree with a secondary root system in the mulch zone starts to depend on it, causing the primary, deeper, root system to wither. That makes the tree vulnerable in drought conditions, when the soil is dry near the surface and the primary roots are no longer able to draw deep water. If the primary root system dies, the tree loses its anchor and is at risk of toppling over in heavy wind or snow.

My recommendation is to strip off as much of the old mulch as you can and top dress with an inch of new mulch. If you start with stripped beds and add one inch a year, you’ll only have to strip them every three years. The goal is to keep the mulch layer less than three inches deep. If you haven’t fertilized recently, apply some low-nitrogen balanced fertilizer to the stripped beds before you put down the mulch. Make sure the mulch doesn’t touch the trunk of trees or shrubs.

Lawn Care

In colder climates grass starts growing in April. Early spring is a good time to test the soil’s pH so that you can assemble the right amendments. Remove turf damaged by salt, plows, or disease to prepare for the seeding that should follow in a few weeks. Work in a ½-inch layer of compost to keep the new seed moist, increasing the germination rate.

 Dethatching and aerating your lawn

Controlling thatch is one of the most important – and most overlooked – parts of lawn care. Thatch is simply the layer of dead grass, roots, and debris that accumulates between the soil surface and the green grass blades above. Over time, it forms a thick mat, hindering water and air from reaching the soil and providing an environment that can encourage pests and diseases. Dethatching can help prevent these problems.

Call or email today to schedule an appointment at 315-224-9991 or tonesgh@gmail.com.

 

 

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