Tour you landscape and inspect for any damage
Early spring is the perfect time to assess your landscape for any damage from the 2014 November freeze and fall hailstorms. Most landscapes will have sustained some sort of damage ranging from moderate to more severe. Recently planted trees and weak, delicate plants have already shown severe damage and may not be able to recover. Fruit trees such as apples, crabapples and pears, as well as rose bushes might be more prone to bacterial fire blight as a result of any open wounds caused by the storm. If you’re uncertain if your landscape has been affected, contact a professional to evaluate.
Hand rake your lawn as soon as the snow has melted
Throughout the winter, turf can become matted due to slow melting snow. When the snow finally disappears, raking the matted turf increases air circulation, aids in winter recovery and provides thatch control. Swingle never recommends “power-raking”. Power raking removes not only dead grass, but tears out healthy, living blades as well.
Aerating and fertilizing gives your lawn a healthy start
Get a jump-start on a healthy lawn by aerating and fertilizing. Swingle recommends aerating twice a year: once in the spring and once in the fall. Aeration helps to control thatch, improves soil structure, creates growth pockets for new roots and maximizes water and fertilizer absorption. Pre-emergent fertilization early on will help to control crabgrass, while continual fertilization will encourage thick, healthy lawns.
Watering is essential even before the spring
Extended warm periods without the benefit of snow cover (more than 7-10 days) spells trouble for south and west facing slopes with turf. Turf mites thrive on dry lawns – causing damaged without any warning. Keep a hose handy to spot-water for 5-10 minutes around evergreens on south and west facing slopes. Because we’re still in the heart of the winter months, make sure you disconnect your house and store in a protected location. When winter is behind us, it’s a good time to have your irrigation system inspected and activated. A certified irrigation technician can help.
When A Spring Storm Hits
Lastly, spring snowstorms can wreak havoc on trees and evergreens. A painter’s pole can be a useful tool to reach up and knock off damaging snow. However, never use this tool near low hanging wires. All wires should be considered electrical conductors regardless if they’re telecommunication lines.