Spring Planning For Your Landscape

Posted on | March 14, 2012 | No Comments

Spring is just around the corner, and if you’re like me, you’re excited to see North Carolina in bloom again! Spring means warmer weather, and enjoying our lawns and gardens again after winter’s chill. We all want our outdoor spaces to shine this year, so we asked Raleigh landscaping and lawn expert Kevin Fontaine, owner of Fontaine Landscaping, for some tips on what we should be doing right now to get great results come spring and summer.

Images Courtesy of Fontaine Landscaping

Wage A Preemptive War On Weeds
Kevin notes that now is the time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to your lawn. Pre-emergents add an invisible barrier to your soil, which keeps weed seeds from germinating. “Timing is very important,” says Kevin. “Pre-emergents should be put down in February or early March, before weeds have a chance to germinate.”

Balance Your Soil
Kevin explains that in North Carolina, soil has a tendency to be acidic. Unfortunately, commonly used lawn grasses such as fescue, Bermuda and zoysia prefer a more neutral soil. Kevin suggests applying lime to your lawn now to reduce its acidity for the growing season. He notes that lime takes time to penetrate soil, and balancing your soil’s pH is a long-term process that can take a few years to accomplish fully.

Clean Up Your Lawn
Kevin suggests raking leftover leaves and clearing out any debris that might be cluttering your lawn. “Removing debris from your lawn allows sunlight and water to reach the grass, which promotes optimum growth.”

Insect-Proof Your Trees
Now is the best time to apply a systemic insecticide to your trees and shrubs. “A systemic uptake treatment is drawn up slowly through the trees vascular system and out to its leaves,” Kevin explains. Come spring and summer, the tree becomes an unpleasant and even deadly hangout spot for aphids, mites, Japanese beetles and other stubborn pests.

According to Kevin, mulching your trees now will help keep their roots moist and protect them from warmer weather. “Avoid ‘volcano mulching’,” he advises. “Mulch should have a depth of two to three total inches. You should still be able to see some fibrous roots.”

Fontaine Landscaping has designed, installed and maintained residential and commercial landscapes throughout the Triangle area since 1996.

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