It’s the second week of February, just over one month away until the first day of spring (March 20th)- not that we are counting down the days or anything.
This winter has been very strange to say the least. Its fluctuation in temperatures has tricked everything from early budding trees and bushes to even myself. I’m guilty of wearing shorts and a sweatshirt in January and enjoying the bike path for a day or two. Only to be slapped in the face by winter and more cold weather shortly after. You may be asking yourself what can I be doing in the yard to get ready for spring? The honest answer is not much.
Most of the plants in your yard are perennials, which means they are rooted in the ground to survive during winter, and they will return with color again in the spring. Mother Nature takes care of most the work in the winter, that’s one of the reasons why it is advantageous to plant in the fall- – you can skip a season of maintenance.
Snow will not only provide water to your plants when it melts, it will also provide a layer of insulation when temperatures are coldest and wind is its harshest. Some people feel the need to cover their plants with a burlap sack or blankets during cold temperatures. We haven’t found that to be too beneficial unless we get freezing temperatures and frost during spring when some non-hardy plants are in bloom. For the most part, if it is winter and you didn’t cut it to the ground, it will survive the wrath of Mother Nature in the winter.
Honestly there isn’t much to do outside unless you plow snow- – and there hasn’t been much of that. BUT we do have a list of ideas and suggestions to get you organized and to get your outdoors looking the best they ever have.
- Get inspired – this time of year it seems like every weekend there is a home-a-rama or some type of home show to generate business for contractors. While we hope you will continue to work with us, this is a great time as the general public to go get a feel for what is going on in the industry and create your own twist on the vision for your back yard.
Don’t have time to go to a home show? That’s ok. There are plenty of publications and resources on the internet. I get 4-5 magazines a month ranging from Hardscape Magazine to Ohio Gardner to A.M. Leonard’s product catalog. It’s an easy way to become inspired and learn from other professionals. Need a recommendation? Feel free to ask. We also carry and pass out Unilock and Cambridge Paver’s product catalogs to anyone that is interested in hardscaping, or just looking for inspiration in general.
- Make plans- Long or short term, just put it on paper. We work with plenty of people that have multiple goals for their backyard. If you are planning on doing the work, as long as you can make sense of the drawing that is all that matters. If you want us to be involved we can create a professional real life 3-D proposal or hand sketch a scaled model of your project. This time of year is perfect to create a game plan. Regardless the course of action, once you are inspired putting it on paper is a huge step.
- Get Prepared- Spring can be a hectic time. Once the weather breaks everyone wants to be outside enjoying the fresh air. Make sure you take advantage of your downtime now so you can enjoy it as well.
One of the things that we like to do is service equipment. Not a professional small engine mechanic? Don’t worry, if it is a Toro, Dixon or Stihl product the professionals at Doug’s Lawnmowers will service it for you. If it is not one of those brands there are plenty of other mechanics around town that will service your machine.
Regardless of how your machines are serviced from our experiences taking them in early is much better than three weeks into the season when everybody has a tune up being performed! Once you have your machines ready to go for spring, make sure you have the right equipment. Most of the box stores and some of the specialty stores will run promotions in late winter/ early spring.
- Relax- Occasionally as the weather starts to turn you should start taking small steps to clean up your beds. However, anyone that takes gardening and landscaping seriously knows that it is a lot of work if done right, and it can be a long season. Take some time to enjoy other hobbies, especially if you have us creating or maintaining a project for you.
Regardless of what you do to prepare for spring, remind yourself that the sun is setting later and the days are counting down.