You can make the most of your time outside by working smarter, not harder this spring. These 6 tips will leave your yard looking beautiful and you feeling great.
Test Your Soil – A soil test provides a list of recommendations for soil amendments to help you make the right decisions for your lawn. Without a soil test, you may be giving your lawn too much or not enough of what it really needs.
Plant More Plants – Trees, shrubs and hardy perennials can beautify your home and help reduce the negative effects of stormwater runoff better than a lawn. Use plants that are native to Hampton Roads and adjusted to local growing conditions. Native plants typically are more resistant to insects and disease and also require less water and fertilizer. Visit Plant More Plants for a list of nurseries that carry native plants in your area.
Mulch, Mulch & Mulch – Mulch helps to control erosion, retain moisture and stabilize soil temperature. A two-inch layer of mulch material, such as fir bark, pine needles or wood chips, will reduce water loss and maintain uniform soil moisture around roots. Mulch also can reduce or eliminate weeds that compete with landscape plants for moisture, nutrients and sunlight.
Seed Bare Spots - If you have bare areas, something must be wrong, and it is preventing the establishment of a turf. This is a problem because you can continually lose your soil. First test your soil testing to see if it needs any soil amendments and then look into different ground covers to stabilize the soil.
Water Wisely – Watering when the sun is low, winds are calm and temperatures are cooler minimizes evaporation by as much as 30 percent. The best time to water is during early morning hours. Set sprinklers to water plants, not your driveway, sidewalk, patio or buildings. Installing a rain barrel to collect rain water to water your lawn and garden is another easy way to conserve water.
Cleanup Your Leaves & Yard Debris – Know your locality’s collection schedule. Only put your leaves and yard debris out at the designated time and follow their collection requirements (bagging, placement, etc.). It’s very important to keep everything out of the street so that it doesn’t end up in the storm drain, which will cause flooding the next time it rains.