Up here in the north, the snow takes longer to melt, and we have to be mindful of frost… but there are still a lot of gardening tasks you can do to get your property ready so you can take full advantage of patio season.
If you’re anything like us, you’re just itching to get outside… So here’s a quick checklist to follow to get a headstart on the season.
Snow, ice, and winter winds can leave your property littered with debris, so the best place to start is with a general cleanup.
Site check — Walk around your property and see if any damage occurred over the winter. Check to see if retaining walls are intact, whether patio stones are heaving or cracked, and get a general sense of any other issues, including drainage problems or plant damage.
Snowplow damage — Gravel driveways are common in communities surrounding the Georgian Bay, so if a driveway isn’t properly marked, snow equipment can spray gravel onto your lawn or cause damage. It’s best to rake up the gravel before mowing begins to protect your lawnmower and keep everyone safe from flying stones.
Remove debris — sweep your hardscapes and lawn and remove broken branches, twigs, fallen leaves and other debris from your gardens.
Test your irrigation system — Make sure your system is working properly. Replace any damaged sprinkler heads or pipes. If you need help, we offer irrigation installation and maintenance as one of our property care services.
Spring is also the perfect time to install an irrigation system or update your current one — see our blog about how smart irrigation saves time, water and money.
Check your outdoor lighting — Test your outdoor lighting to ensure it is functioning properly. Replace any burnt-out bulbs or damaged fixtures. If you’d like to upgrade your fixtures or add some new ones, our property care team will gladly help.
Dethatch lawn — This process involves removing the “thatch” — dead grass and other organic matter between grass blades and the soil’s surface — to allow nutrients, air and water to reach the soil and help your grass grow. This promotes healthy growth and helps prevent disease.
Turf aeration — Aerating the soil helps break up compacted soil and improves water and nutrient absorption. This can be accomplished using either a manual or a power aerator.
Overseeding & top-dressing — If your lawn has bare or thin patches, spring is a good time to reseed them. Choose a seed appropriate for your grass type and follow the instructions on the package for the best results.
For larger areas, you might want to consider applying sod in place of seed.
Apply fertilizer — Fertilizer promotes healthy growth, making your lawn lush, thick, and green. Choose a fertilizer with a balanced NPK ratio (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) that is appropriate for your grass type and soil conditions.
Start mowing — As the weather warms up, you'll need to start mowing your lawn regularly. Make sure your mower blades are sharp to avoid damaging the grass blades.
Light pruning — Remove the “five D's” from your trees and shrubs — dead, dying, damaged, disfigured or diseased limbs and branches. Be sure to prune correctly to keep the plant’s shape and take care not to trim off the dormant buds!
Plant new flowers and plants — Add some colour to your property by adding some seasonal plantings to your flower beds and containers. Choose varieties that are suited to your climate and soil type.
Divide and transplant perennials — Early May, once the snow has melted and the soil begins to warm up, is the ideal time to divide and transplant perennials. This helps control the plant’s size, rejuvenate old plants, and allows you to refresh your garden’s design… or create an entirely new garden!
Mulching and Fertilizing — Once the gardens have been cleared of debris, perennials divided, and annuals planted, it’s time to add fertilizer and lay down a nice, thick layer of mulch. Mulch keeps your garden tidy while inhibiting weeds and the soil from drying out in the hot sun.
Spring is the ideal time to clean up your property and plan for summer.
This can be especially tough if your property isn’t your primary residence… in that case, you’ll have two properties to prepare for summer!
The Landmark Group has expert horticulturalists on staff, ready to help preserve and sustain your landscape, so it reaches its full value and potential. If you’d like help getting your property ready for summer fun, get in touch and leave everything to us.