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Lifestyles -

April 13, 2013

Now is time for yard repair, preparation

April can be delightfully sunny and warm one day and raining with cold winds or even a surprise snowstorm the next. The spring bulbs are starting to bloom, but it’s still not time for planting. But there are plenty of other yard tasks to be done on those nice days.

Three professional local landscapers indicated that the first thing to do in spring is a basic walk-through assessment of winter damage, followed by a general cleanup of your property. Cody Schmitt of Precision Lawn Care in Jefferson, Seth Whittaker of Down to Earth Landscaping in Delhi and Brent Trimbell of Lasting Impression Landscape in Hobart offered suggestions for tasks that everyone should do. 

“Regular spring cleanup involves anything from fixing plow damage from the previous winter season to cleaning up branches and sticks, anything that the snow and the wind may have knocked down,” Schmitt said.

In addition to picking up fallen debris, Whitttaker said that “spring is also the right time to de-thatch the lawn in areas where there has been winter kill and to rake up any gravel or other material left by the snowplows before fertilizing the lawn for the first time.”

Trimbell recommended applying lime to the lawn. Even if there is snow on the ground, “it helps the lime dissipate into the ground a little bit better,” Trimbell explained. Of course, those April showers also help the lime and fertilizer sink in.

Pruning is the next step, but only for some trees and shrubs. Evergreens and hedges should be pruned as they begin new growth. Apple, cherry, peach, plum and trumpet vine should be pruned in early spring. Certainly, Schmitt said “if you’re going to do any pruning in the spring, you want to do so before the buds come out.” This means it’s already too late to prune many plants, as the buds are clearly visible on many flowering trees by this time. 

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