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Six Steps to Preparing Your Yard and Garden for Spring and Summer

Regardless of Punxatawny Phil's Groundhog Day prediction, spring has sprung. Warming weather is a signal to plants of all kinds to come out of their winter dormancy and start to grow. If you want to keep your lawn and garden healthy and looking good all summer, you need to get a head start on things. Here is a checklist of what you will need to do.

  1. Re-activate your sprinkler system. Reverse the procedure you used to winterize the system. Close the drains, turn on the water supply, check the system for leaks, and repair as necessary. Run all the circuits and check the sprinkler heads and drip system to make sure everything is in working order and properly adjusted. Set your timer for the desired watering cycles.
  2. Get your lawn and garden equipment ready for use. Check the oil level and fill the tanks of gas-powered machines (lawnmower, garden tractor, rototillers, etc.) as you get ready to use them. Make sure all electric-powered lawn and garden tools are operational. Repair or replace any that are defective, and make sure you have plenty of string for your string trimmer.
  3. Nip weeds in the bud. Now is the time to spray for weeds. Lay down a soil sterilizer/weed killer in all areas where you don't want plant growth, such as expansion joints in concrete patios and driveways and areas covered with decorative rock, tanbark, etc. Get those weeds now before they have a chance to pollinate and spread, and you will save yourself a lot of work later on.
  4. Fertilize your lawn and decorative plants. Early fertilizing will promote vigorous growth throughout the spring and summer season. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application strength and frequency.
  5. Do your spring planting. Establish the frost-free date for your area, and then put together a planting schedule for any flowers, decorative plants, trees, shrubs, vegetables, and herbs you want to plant.
  6. Garden Lights for Summer Nights. If you have a low-power or solar-powered yard lighting system, check it out to make sure all lights are functional, then repair or replace any defective lights. If you do not have a yard lighting system, you may want to make it one of your spring projects.


By getting an early start on your lawn and garden, you will get maximum enjoyment from your outdoors entertaining areas all summer long.