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With winter (hopefully) behind us, and summer approaching, we are all looking out the window eager to get out and enjoy the fresh air. As you begin your spring cleaning and yard maintenance, here are five things to keep in mind to help you have the curb appeal that’s the talk of the town.

  1. Your grass may be sleeping, even if it’s brown
    Just like animals, grass heads into hibernation during the winter months because it can’t obtain the proper nutrients. Wait until the night temperature stays around 35 degrees Fahrenheit or higher to ensure the soil temperatures can reach around 50 degrees Fahrenheit before making the diagnosis. Once the soil has reached this temperature, give the brown grass a little tug – if it comes up easily, the roots are dead, if not, give it a few more days to join the spring celebrations.
  2. Know when to mow: Stick to the 1/3 rule
    It’s ideal to never trim down more than one-third of the top of the grass. Mowing is pruning, and therefore helps decrease
    weeds and increase lawn density; mowing too often can increase sun exposure for weeds, and reduce the surface area making it unable to produce the “food” it needs. If you’ve just moved into your home, or your home is newly seeded, the
    grass needs three to four weeks to establish before the first mow.
  3. Purple flowers in a hanging bucketBe patient and start small
    If you’re new to gardening, start small – it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Plant a few low-maintenance plants this year, like one of my favorites – the burning bush. Add a little something each year, and before you know it, you’ll have great curb appeal, and the bragging rights from a beautiful yard!
  4. Water carefully
    Water early in the morning so the plant can soak up the water and avoid the cool air that follows night, which can lead to fungus growth. Be consistent and provide ample water – avoid over watering by knowing the needs of the plants you purchased. The nursery or gardening store you visit will have plenty of information on how to best care for you new investment. Not sure if you are overwatering? If the leaves turn yellow and fall off, it’s likely you are (leaves that fall off and look dry or brittle are usually a result of under watering).
  5. Plant with a purpose
    Many plants, such as lavender, marigolds, and geraniums, serve two purposes: to make your yard appealing and help keep
    summer bugs away. Find plants that you will enjoy, are easy to maintain, and serve another purpose. This will allow you to enjoy your yard even more, and appreciate the hard work invested to making your house your home.