If you live in the southern part of the U.S., you may have already started getting your lawn and landscape in shape for the coming spring. For those that live in the more northern parts of the U.S., you are most likely wishing that it will start to get warmer so that the snow will melt and you can see your lawn, but there are still things that you can do to start getting your landscape in shape for the coming year.
I conduct regional training programs across the U.S. at this time of year to help set the pace for the coming year. Besides sales and customer service topics, I also include sessions on technical topics as well as application and product safety. I start in the southern sections of the U.S. where we have franchise locations and slowly work my way north. In the southern sections, the primary work that is being completed is spreading mulch in landscape beds, selective pruning of trees along with controlling winter weeds and applying products to prevent annual grasses from germinating as the weather warms up.
About the only outdoor work that can be completed in the northern areas is selective pruning of trees. Winter is a great time to remove branches that may be crossing other branches or ones that are broken or misshapen. Up to now, snow fall has been far less than normal, so there is a good deal of tree pruning going on at this time of year. If you are pruning a spring flowering tree like a magnolia or crabapple, be careful of how much you prune off as it will reduce the number of flowers that will display this coming spring.
How to Get Lawn and Landscape Equipment Ready For Spring
Regardless of where you live, winter is a great time to get lawn mowers and other power equipment ready for the spring. If you are using a 4-cycle engine that requires oil, winter is a good time to remove the old oil and add fresh oil for the coming season. Change the spark plug if it hasn’t been changed for a couple of years. Clean the underside of the mower deck and clean and/or replace the air filter. It is also a great time to sharpen the mower blade. If you are not mechanically inclined, many hardware stores and small engine repair shops offer tune-up specials during the winter.
Many gas-powered line trimmers and blowers use gas and oil mixture so an oil change is not necessary, but cleaning and/or replacing the air filter is a good practice as is replacing the spark plug. If you use battery-powered line trimmers or blowers, there is not much maintenance that has to be completed on these items outside of cleaning them if they have become dirty.
Although gardening tools should have been cleaned and wiped down with oil before storing for the winter, sometimes this task gets forgotten. Using a stiff wire brush to clean off shovels, hoes, rakes or other metal gardening tools before things get busy again this spring. After cleaning off soil and any possible rust, either wipe the metal parts with oil are spray them with an oil-based lubricant.
Spring Gardening Ideas
This is also the time to start exploring different gardening ideas for the coming year. Think back and what you planted to determine what grew well and what sort of fizzled out and died. Seed catalogs are often abundant now, but not everyone has these publications delivered to their homes. Fortunately, the internet is a tremendous source for all types of advice for gardening. It is best to stick with recommendations for accredited sources such as university extension services or well-known brands such as Burpee or Proven Winners, just to name two.
The weather will get warmer, trees and shrubs will start to bud out and produce flowers and spring bulbs will surface to fill may landscapes with glorious colors. Gardening does require patience, so relax, explore landscape ideas online and before you know it spring will be upon us. Now is also a good time to start thinking about a lawn care service. Contact us to plan for the greener, thicker lawn you’ve been wanting!