April showers bring May flowers and you're probably itching to get out there. The cutoff date for frost in CT is typically Mother's Day, but that doesn't mean you have to wait a whole month to get back in your garden!
Early spring landscape and garden management can yield huge rewards later in the season. Here are a few tips for taking care of your landscape in April.
1. Grade your garden or landscape
As winter turns into spring, it can be a challenging time of year for your landscape. Sometimes the snow can melt or we can have rain when the ground is still frozen. This can lead to standing water for weeks. Not only is that not good for your landscape, it's also not good for your family as standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitos. It can rot your lawn or your garden. Take pictures, or at least make note as to where the standing water is and grade it when the water is fully absorbed. Most often this just means bringing in some top soil to fill in the depressions. It's ok to seed those areas you fill in. Yes, you'll probably get crabgrass there if it's in the sun, but there are products that eliminate just crab grass.
This goes for both your lawn and your garden. You should fertilize both with a combination pre-emergent and fertilizer. There are lots of micro climates, so the best time for your individual landscape will be when the forsythia near you are blooming. Weeds are dependent upon soil temperatures which is 50°, but luckily that's also when the forsythia is blooming. Thanks Mother Nature! Nice to have a helping hand out there so let's take what we can get!
3. Make a schedule
There's a lot to get done around any home in the spring. The best plans of mice and men.... You know how the saying goes. You may have the best if intentions, but sometimes things just slip through the cracks. It happens to all of us. Our lives are all so busy, it's hard to get it all in. If you make a schedule and stick to it, your less likely to have something slip your mind. A schedule guarantees that the tasks gets done at the proper time.
4. Think long term
I know it's hard to think about the blistering heat of summer when we're all so eager just for spring! When planting, be sure to do a little research and look for perennials and shrubs that bloom at different times. By doing this, you'll avoid the common spring blockbuster garden with a bleak Summer garden that in turn is just a faded Autumn garden. You want to stagger your bloom times so that you always have something in bloom during every season. Don't forget about your annuals! I know that sounds funny when we're talking about long term, but annuals are always a pop of color when other things may not be blooming, and they keep your garden new and interesting from season to season and year to year.
5. Get creative and dare to be different
Many of us often stick to what we know. We're unknowingly afraid to break out of our own boxes that we've put ourselves in for fear we may not like something different. Sticking to what you know can be very limiting, especially when it comes to landscaping. There are so many really neat plants out there that have so much to offer. Feel free to ask us about some varieties that may work well for you. You may just find a beautiful species you had no idea existed!