By: Clara Beaufort from Gardener Gigs
If you want to make sure your yard is safe and ready for children and pets to play in once the warmer weather arrives, now is a good time to start!
There are many things you can do to your lawn and garden in the colder months to lessen your workload when spring comes around. In fact, if you want a yard you can boast about to the whole neighborhood, you have to put in work all year round. Not only will this ensure you have green grass and lush flower beds, but certain maintenance can prevent injuries and accidents in the future.
Here are some home and garden maintenance projects to get done before winter is over.
Tip #1: Check Your Trees and Shrubs
When the spring storms roll in, the last thing you need is a falling branch puncturing a hole in your roof or knocking down a gutter. Inspect all of the trees, shrubs, and bushes on your property for loose limbs and branches. Cut back what you can or consider having them removed if you think they pose a danger. If you can’t do it yourself, a tree-trimming and removal service can do it for you. The average cost for tree and shrub maintenance is $416.
Tip #2: Break Out the Rake
For some people, raking is yard work only for the autumn. However, dead leaves don’t just fall at once, and the blades of grass that die over winter are still there. Chances are your lawn is suffocating under all the debris. Raking the yard will also help dethatch and aerate your lawn. While a little bit of thatch is okay, more than a half inch is too much for your grass.
Over the winter, we tend to forget about things we left outside when the weather was nicer. Once you get all the nastiness out of the way, you can also inspect the area for toys, sports equipment, fallen decorations—whatever could get in the way when it is finally time to break out the lawn mower.
Tip #3: Winter Fertilize
Throughout the harsh summer months, your lawn loses nutrients. Most lawn-care experts suggest you fertilize in October or November to replenish those nutrients. Those nutrients then sit in the soil and feed the roots of your grass all winter long. If you didn’t fertilize your lawn in the fall before the first snow, now is the time to do it.
Your lawn can still benefit from a late fertilizing. In fact, some lawn-care enthusiasts suggest you fertilize in the fall and again before spring arrives to help your lawn recover from whatever it lost over the freezing temperatures. That way your lawn is properly fed, and you see healthy, lush, green grass in March.
Tip #4: Make It Safe for Play
If your kids have a playground or swingset in the yard, give it a good and thorough check for loose poles, boards, chains, screws, or any other instability that you can fix. Other safety hazards include things like rotting or splitting wood, rusted components, and loose anchoring. Finding these hazards now will give you plenty of time to make necessary adjustments so the whole family can enjoy the yard as soon as the weather warms. You can also help clean off winter dirt and grime with a pressure washer. Be sure to get inside any slides and target any mold or mildew growing on wood surfaces.
Preparing your lawn and garden for spring means less work to do when the weather is nice. Not only will the work make your grass and flowers look great, but you can help keep your home and family safe as well. Check trees and shrubs for loose branches and cut them down. Rake up winter debris so your lawn can breathe, and consider giving it a light fertilization to replenish what it lost over the season. Finally, if your kids have a playground or swingset in the yard, inspect it now so they don’t have to wait to play on it when the weather finally warms.