Spring lawn care 101

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DETROIT - If you need some ideas for getting your lawn ready for the hammock, here are some tips from H-D Landscaping - who were featured Thursday morning on Local 4 New Today.

Cleaning up - Leaves and trash

Clean up all the leftover leaves and trash that have accumulated in the landscape over the winter. Cleaning up litter removes hiding places for bugs that can attack your plants later. Add the leaves and other organic debris to your compost pile.


Plants and tree trimming

Most trees and shrubs benefit from annual pruning.  It keeps them in shape, gets rid of dead and diseased wood and encourages new growth.  But not all trees and shrubs should be pruned early, especially some of the flowering ones.  Pruning them early in the spring would mean losing some blossoms.  But sometimes it's easier to prune when you can see the shape of the plant, before the branches are covered by leaves.  Trees and shrubs that are in need of a good shaping could sacrifice a few blooms to be invigorated by a spring pruning.


The grass

After a long winter your lawn needs to be mowed, aerated and fertilized. It's a good time to patch in or reseed bare spots.  Walk around your yard and look for bare spots in the mulched beds. Add mulch to areas that are thin. If you have gravel mulch in your beds rake the beds to even out the gravel.


Lawn care mistakes

Failure to Have a Plan

A cleanup plan for example, Planting plan.... try to sketch a rough plan for one large area of your yard, and put all your energy into implementing that plan this year. The idea is to tackle large projects in phases. Don't start a landscaping project without a plan. Decide on a specific theme or look and then draw it out on paper. Figure out where you want to put your plants and shrubs in relation to the shape and style of your house. Design a look when completed that fosters a  harmonious design.


Picking the Wrong Plants

Just because a plant looks pretty doesn't mean it actually belongs in your yard. You have to take into consideration your particular backyard, with filtered light or shade, and what's going to work best for you. If it's a really hot, sunny spot, maybe you want to go with a succulent. Get a great landscaping book for your area to help you figure out what to plant and when, as well as how and when to fertilize.


Planting in the Wrong Place

Improper plant placement is another common mistake, you need to remember how big the plant or shrub could get and how much space they are going to need. Being shortsighted is a common problem because many people don't know what the eventual growth of their plants will be. You need to find out how they spread, how they reproduce and what type of maintenance they require. Also think about focal points - choose something that's going to look good year-round.


Overlooking Maintenance

Part of planning a flower garden is also planning time to maintain it. Make up a maintenance schedule and abide by it. Landscaped beds need to be weeded at least once or twice a month, at minimum. If you don't have the time to take care of your landscaped beds, consider hiring someone to maintain them. 

Note: Spring time is a great time to evaluate your property and create a landscaping plan for  the season. Adopting these four basic principals during the spring planting season, a homeowner can create curb appeal that will look great year after year.

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