Living in a damp, colder climate like Vancouver can bring the excitement of getting back to the outdoors and of course you’re garden, at the first sign of spring. Typically, in the North Vancouver area which receives more rainfall than average, getting outside to inspect your landscaping usually involves a lot of moss.
Here are a few spring landscaping tips to set you on the path to a beautiful garden for spring and summer.
FERTZLIZATING: Not all of your plants require fertilizing all of the time. This choice should be made based on the nutritional requirements of the soil, plants and grass. First find out what your soil needs are by testing the soil.
Not all soils are equal and some require more nutrients of one kind than another may require. Determine what fertilizer will fulfill the requirements of your soil. If you’re fertilizing grass, find out the best time of year for your grass variety. A common belief is that all varieties of grass should be fertilized in spring. This is not necessarily true. Depending on the variety you are using, fall may be a more conducive time. For some varieties, June is ideal.
When you do use a fertilizer for your grass, make sure you use one with a ‘controlled release’. This will minimize losses to the environment while increasing nutrient absorption into the soil. Sometimes the introduction of organic materials may improve the condition of your soil.
Before you fertilize, ensure that you have read the label and fully understand the manufacturer’s information. Make sure you also know the size of your lawn to determine how much fertilizer to use. If you use too much and are in a warm period, you could destroy or burn your grass. Using to little will not create the results you are looking for, or create a condition called ‘thin turf’.
TREES, BUSHES & SHRUB FERTILIZING: Before you look to apply any type of mulch to your garden, you may want to check to see if any trees or shrubs require any fertilizing. This may include your rhododendrons.
CONTROL OF WEEDS: If you are looking to apply a pre-emergent weed control for pesky weeds like crabgrass, spring is typically an excellent time for this application. How can you tell when the timing is perfect? Look for when forsythia is in full bloom. This is general a good indication for timing.
BARK MULCH: Once you have fertilized and cleaned away any debris, branches or leaves, you may want to put down some mulch to dress up and make your garden look tidy and complete. It also smells wonderful. When applying mulch you will want to clear most of what was their previously, away. When you apply the new mulch, keep it under 1” thick and do not let it touch tree trunks. Never let it accumulate to more than 2.5” in thickness. Mulch is an excellent way to help retain soil moisture while keeping roots cool in the hot of summer. It also acts as an excellent insulator in the winter months.
TREE & SHRUB INSPECTION: Depending on your location and what type of snowfall your winter presented can depend on how well your shrubs or small trees may have fared. Typically with heavier snowfall come damaged shrubs, small trees and bushes. If you find any that are broken, be sure to prune them or alternatively have a professional look at them if they may need to be removed.
SOIL TESTING: Have you ever tested your soil? Most people haven’t. This is something that you may want to consider every few years. You may want to have this performed by a professional lawn care or landscaping company. Alternatively inquire with your local gardening centre for soil test kits.
PLANT BEDS: A reason why some people may leave leaves that fall in the fall is to create a little bit of insulation to prevent damage from frost or cold. Come April, this may be a good time to look to remove the old leaves and look to prune back any dead branches and clean up any edging around the beds with an edging tool.
IRRIGATION SYSTEMS: Irrigation systems are now a popular choice with most modern landscaping. When temperatures dip below the freezing mark, depending on how low they dip and for how long can depend on whether this may affect irrigation systems. When the weather is no longer dipping below freezing for the season, make sure you turn it back on and do a full check to make sure it is working optimally and that there are no leaks. Don’t forget to ‘blow the system out’ in the fall so there is no water buildup which can potentially cause ice dams or leaks.
OUTDOOR LANDSCAPE LIGHTING: Many homes now have outdoor lighting. Again, depending on how much lighting you included in your landscaping project can depend on what your maintenance may look like. Typically with landscaping lighting, lights will burn out and connections where the lights connect may need some attention or cleaning. Depending on the level of snow in your area will depend on potential outdoor lighting repairs. Sometimes the snow can move free standing lights, which may need to be re-adjusted.
Having a landscaping business like West Coast Modernscape Landscapers create your dream is one thing, maintaining the work is something else. We post these tips and information for you so that you can enjoy your landscaping to the fullest extent. If you are considering a landscaping project and not sure where to start, give us a call and we can work with you to create your dream yard.