With longer days and a little more sunshine, it’s beginning to feel a little more like Spring.  McCoy’s Landscape Ninjas are guessing that a lot of people are ready to get out of the house and into their yards. Lawn care is key to making your home or business look beautiful.  So what are some of the first things that we should be doing with our lawn and landscape to get them ready to come out of their winter dormancy and get ready for the spring?

One of the first things that I like to do is to walk the property and inspect how the plants and turf looks.  I am looking specifically for any winter or critter damage.

March is usually a good time to clean the yard and plant beds of all the sticks, leaves and debris that have accumulated since fall. Although I’ve only seen one lawn with Snow Mold so far this Spring, vigorously rake any matted areas of grass.  We won’t generally need to mow until the first week or so of April but if there is a lot of small, loose debris in your lawn, I suggest that you mow and bag it to clean it up.  It’s best for the lawn to be free of debris when it’s time for the first application of your Lawn Care Program to be applied.

Speaking of fertilization, March is a good time to get the first application of the lawn fertilization program done because this application is time sensitive.  The first application typically contains fertilizer plus a pre-emergent herbicide to control crabgrass and other annual weeds in your lawn.  The active ingredient in the pre-emergent product forms a chemical barrier on the ground surface so that when crabgrass and other annual weeds germinate and begin to emerge they run into the chemical barrier and are killed.

The timing on this application is important because crabgrass germinates when the ground temperatures reach the mid fifties.  This generally happens in mid-April in Central Ohio so it is important that the first application is done before that.  A much more visual reminder is the blooming of Forsythia, which typically occurs at about the same time.

March is also a good time to cut back perennials and ornamental grasses.  Technically, this can be done any time the plants are in dormancy but you will definitely want to have it done by the time that the ground temperatures warm up and the plants start growing again.

You may be tempted to cut back your Roses and Hydrangeas but I would encourage you to wait until at least April before doing that.  Once you cut them back they are going to flush out new growth rather quickly and we don’t want the new growth to get nipped by a late freeze.  Be sure not to prune Lilacs or any other ornamental plants that bloom on their old growth in the spring .  These plants should be pruned after they bloom.  It is, however, ok to prune plants that bloom on their new growth such as Spirea and Potentilla.  In fact, pruning them before they start to bud will encourage the plant to leaf out and flower more fully.

By inspecting and cleaning up your lawn and landscape now,  you will be ready for the growing season.

Matt McCoy is a Nationally Certified Landscape Professional and the President of McCoy Landscape Services, Inc. a Full Service Landscaping Company that specializes in designing and installing Outdoor Living Spaces, Paver Patios and Colorful, easy to maintain Landscaping.  McCoy Landscape services the Central Ohio Communities of Delaware, Powell, Lewis Center, Westerville, Marion, Mt. Gilead, Upper Sandusky and Bucyrus, Galion and Mansfield.  If you need help with any aspect of your Lawn and Landscape please call the experts at McCoy Landscape Services, 1-844-4MCCOYS.

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