Welcome to part 2 of my Spring Checklist Series for Homeowners. This week we’ll look further into preparing the exterior of your home for spring. Get your lawn and gardens looking their best with these simple steps:

  1. First and foremost, make a plan. What flowers worked really well last year? Which didn’t? Would a fresh color scheme make your front door pop? Do you want to add a new vegetable or herb garden? Think about what you want and what it will take to accomplish it, and write it down. Make sure to note any places where you’ll need to increase or decrease the spacing between plants, and make a shopping list of all the bulbs, seeds, and containers you’ll need for this year.
  2. Get ready for spring planting. Examine your irrigation system and replace worn or broken garden hoses and sprinkler heads. Inspect the lights along your walkways and around your patio. Get your lawn mower serviced. Rake the leaves, remove debris, and trim trees, shrubs, hedges, and bushes. Make sure you remove any dead, damaged, or infected limbs and branches, and remove or significantly trim down any winter foliage. Weed, fertilize if necessary, and re-mulch the gardens. Test the soil pH and adjust if necessary. If it’s a pale tan color, make sure to enrich it by mixing in the right amount of manure and/or compost. You also may want to power wash the walkways and patio and remove any weeds or unwanted plants from between the cracks.
  3. Inspect your lawn. Check for new insect beds, rodent holes, or abnormalities in the grass. Apply pre- and post-emergent weed control. Mow and trim as needed, and make sure to water just the right amount. (Too much or too little both spell disaster for a lush lawn.) If you see problem areas you can’t seem to fix, you may want to consult a professional.
  4. As soon as the last frost of the year ends, start planting. Get your annuals, perennials, herbs, and vegetables in place. Remember: Establishment best takes place after the temperatures begin to rise and the rain begins to fall, usually around mid-May.

Come back next week to read part 3 of the series as we look at interior system maintenance.