Do it yourself gardening Home and Garden Tune Ups Spring yard work Uncategorized

Think Spring on Easter Weekend and Jumpstart Yard Work

Gene and Katie Hamilton

A gardening optimist thinks about Springtime no matter what the weather is outside. To get yourself in the mood order a gardening magazine and some catalogs and warm up to the idea that you’ll be digging in the soil in the not too distant future. With that in mind consider these ideas to make the most of your lawn and garden with a list of tasks from Lowe’s Live Nursery Specialist Lester Poole and jumpstart your gardening plans.

1. START PLANNING: Think about the goal for your outdoor space. Is it entertaining, playing with the kids, gardening, or simply relaxing? Once you’ve got that down, draw a map of your property from a bird’s eye view on graph paper. Include your house, existing boundaries such as fences, outdoor utilities such as AC units and heat pumps, existing drains or irrigation systems, and any views you wish to preserve or hide. From there, use tracing paper (and your imagination) to draw your ideas, from a new garden to a gazebo or walkway.

2. GET EQUIPPED: Your tools might not be in tip-top shape after a season in the shed. Check your lawnmower blades, rakes, edgers, trimmers and pruners, and consider replacing them if they’re worn, bent or rusted.

3. DETHATCH YOUR YARD: It’s not uncommon that a layer of living and dead plant matter, known as thatch, has taken over your lawn after a long, cold winter. If the thatch on your yard is half an inch or thicker, it’s important to get out the dethatcher so air, water and nutrients can break though and help your grass grow.

4. FERTILIZE YOUR YARD: The later into the season you wait to fertilize, the less time your lawn has to mature and adapt to the upcoming season’s harsh conditions. Sow seed evenly, then rake it thoroughly to increase your chances of quality germination. You can also aerate your lawn after sowing, which further enhances seed contact with the soil. Springtime is the perfect time to begin fertilizing your shrubs and trees with a slow-release fertilizer.

5. START PLANTING: Any vegetables or flowering plants can be planted indoors now to later be transplanted outside. If you’re eager to start digging outside, seedlings such as petunias, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and winter peas are frost-resistant.

6. PREPARE FOR THE UNEXPECTED: You can’t predict the weather, but you can keep a watch on your area’s forecast and have protective materials at the ready. Stock up with a few frost blankets to place over tender, newly budding plants in case of a late frost, which help ensure the upcoming season’s success.

7. NIP PESTS IN THE BUD: With spring regrowth comes the pesky emergence of bugs and rodents. To get ahead on pest control, start by checking your home’s wood structures, foundation, and surrounding areas for damage, holes or cracks and standing pools of water in which pests thrive. If you see eggs, insects or other signs of infestation, consult your local Lowe’s gardening expert to determine the best course of action before purchasing pesticides.

Gene and Katie Hamilton
Home and Garden Tune Ups

House and Yard Tune Up May 29

Gardening - Make Work or Love Work
Gardening – Make Work or Love Work

When warm weather arrives many of us feel a burst of energy to get outdoors and shake off being cooped up all winter. Being in the fresh air feels good so it’s an incentive to sort through the garden gear in the garage and tidy up the yard and garden.

Along with the yard and garden it’s the ideal time to take stock of the exterior of the house and property to see how it’s weathered the winter. Take a walk around the house and look for signs of damage and what needs repair.

Here’s a checklist of jobs to keep your property and home looking its best. These jobs are little or no skill required so even a first-time homeowner can do them.

Lawn and Garden

  • Make a clean sweep of the property and remove fallen tree branches, twigs and debris. Use a rake and an old tarp to drag around and collect and dispose of the debris.
  • Give trees and shrubbery a good pruning and thinning to improve their overall health and appearance. Get advice from your local lawn and garden center.
  • Pull weeds in garden beds and make a plan for adding new plants.
  • Give the lawn a dose of fertilizer and a good first cutting with a mower and trimmer looking for bare spots to fill in and weeds to pull.
  • Use an edger to manicure the lawn and garden to separate flower beds from the lawn and keep creeping plants in their place.


  • Sweep patios, decks and walkways and remove debris.
  • Use a power washer to clean patios, decks, kid’s outdoor equipment and any plastic or metal lawn furniture.
  • Tune up the barbecue grill and lay in a supply of charcoal or propane so it’s ready to use.
  • Get a bucket, heavy gloves and tall ladder to clean gutters and remove debris and dried leaves. Use a garden hose to flush them out and see that water runs to downspouts and into a splash block to keep water away from the foundation.When it’s raining, check out downspouts looking for any leaks and mark the leaks so you can fix them.

Visit www.diyornot and find the cost of these and hundreds of other jobs so you can compare doing it yourself with hiring a contractor.