Spring Landscaping Tips
Everyone is wrapping up the holidays, Winter is coming to an end and Spring is quickly approaching. Whether your focus is residential or commercial landscape, it's time to start thinking about how you're going to clean up your landscape and amp up your curb appeal for the warmer seasons ahead.
Part of successful landscaping is making sure you are aware of your environment and your plant/tree selection as well as maintenance revolve around that. The ever changing forecast in the Kansas City area keeps weather forecasters and the entire community on their toes. The region experiences a range of hot, cold, wet and dry conditions. Sometimes all in the same day, or even a matter of hours. Dennis Patton, horticulture agent with Johnson County K-State Research and Extension in Olathe, KS, says the best plants for surviving the ups and downs of Kansas City’s weather “must have the ability to roll with the punches. On top of that, we typically have heavy, high-clay-content soils. This is a plus and minus,” Patton adds. In fact, Patton advises paying attention to the soil on your property before looking for plants, shrubs and other landscaping elements.“The soil is the foundation for growth,” he says. “More energy and money should be spent on improving the quality of the soil, balancing pH, improving drainage and providing aeration for healthy plants. If you can grow healthy, strong roots, the top growth will take care of itself.”
In other words, having a lush landscape starts at the roots. They key to healthy growth is to making the right selection of fertilizer content and landscaping elements according to your environment.
Now that we've uncovered the root of lush landscape success, here are some other important steps in Spring landscape care to ensure quality outdoor time and excellent curb appeal.
Shrub and Tree Care
Start your spring spruce up with a thorough inspection of your yard. Check for any limbs and branches that may have been damaged through out the winter. Prune them or have them removed by a professional. For shrubs that bloom mid to late summer, the earlier you prune the better. They should be pruned late winter, early spring. For shrubs that flower in the springtime, prune the branches once the flowers fade.
If you're in the Kansas City area, Patton recommends:
*Shrubs- Annabelle Hydrangeas and Crepe Myrtle
*Trees- Honeylocust, Hackberry and Kentucky Coffee Tree
It is important to rake and thatch your lawn before the spring is in high gear. Aerating your lawn will help areas that have become compacted and allow oxygen and moisture to get to the roots. Depending on your soils nutrients, you may need to apply a light fertilizer to your lawn when you’re doing your spring landscaping. Clean out garden beds by making sure all old leaves and debris are raked and the bed is edged. It is also important to remember that cool air dries out grass, so make sure that your lawn is getting about 1 inch of water per week.
Before you mow the lawn, take a look at your lawnmower. Replace the spark plugs, sharpen the blades and make sure oil is changed before you use it. Dull lawnmower blades will tear the grass instead of cutting it, which could lead to fungal growth. If you have an irrigation system, the spring is the time to inspect it. Make sure there are no damages that need repaired and get it ready to water!
Mulch your flower beds and the base of trees during the early spring months. Mulch not only makes planting areas look neat, but also helps to retain moisture in the soil, keeps roots cool in the summer, and insulates them in the winter. As mulch decomposes, it adds organic matter to the soil. There should be about 1 inch thick layer of mulch, but never be any more than 3 inches thick of mulch in one spot. Mulch comes in a variety of colors and textures.
Again, before you start planting, make sure the plants you choose will thrive in your landscape. Local nurseries are familiar with your ground’s makeup and what plants thrive in that soil as well as other considerations such as the amount of light a plant will thrive in. Pick bright colored plants that compliment the exterior of your home or business.
If you're in the Kansas City area some recommendations are:
Patton says milkweeds are a great addition to your garden, as they attract monarch butterflies that fly through the Kansas City area on their migration path.
The National Gardening Association says catmints. They are easy-to-grow perennials that most commonly have purple-blue flowers and gray-green foliage. They typically range from 1 foot to 4 feet tall.
If you need help with any spring related landscaping services, and are in the Kansas City area, contact Platinum Outdoor Concepts today!