Is your green thumb starting to itch again? It might still be winter for another month, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start preparing your yard for the coming season. In our latest WFAA segment, water expert Denise Hickey and horticulturalist Patrick Dickinson offered some simple prep steps you can take before the first day of spring.
5 Steps to Spring: WFAA February Segment
- Prune your perennials.
You can will want to prune the perennial plants in your yard before early March so you won’t accidentally cut new growth.
- Select a fertilizer if necessary.
Test your soil before buying fertilizer to see if you need any, and if so, what kind is best for your yard’s specific soil. This process only costs $10 through Texas A&M Agrilife and is well worth the money to make sure that you purchase the correct kind. Don’t fertilize yet, though. Fertilization before April can cause weeds to take root and encourage your grass to grow when it is still in danger of a late freeze.
- Consider pre-emergent protection.
Applying a pre-emergent seals the top layer of your soil against weeds and helps prevent the need for other chemical use to kill weeds later in the spring and summer. There are many kinds of pre-emergents, including both synthetic and organic options. The most important thing is to apply whichever brand you choose before the growth season and again in September before winter.
- Mulch and spread.
If you still have leaves on your yard, now is the perfect time to mulch them. Don’t trash or throw away what you can collect and use as mulch. Place the gathered leaves over your garden and landscape beds and then layer mulch over the top of them. The leaves will decay and along with the mulch will enrich your soil.
- Water wisely.
Until your grass begins to green, you do not need to water it. Once it does begin to green (after the last frost), limit watering to no more than an inch per week. When watering your grass, it is best to water less often, and irrigates using the cycle-soak method. This stimulates your lawn’s roots to grow deeper to withstand the hot, dry summer months.
It is also best to water in the morning, not between 10 am and p.m. when the sun evaporates the water. If in doubt about whether to water or wait, sign-up for WaterMyYard recommendations ortry using a moisture meter to determine if additional irrigation is needed.