There could be blizzard next weekend because March is, after all, our snowiest month. But right now it sure feels like spring.
And when we have great weekends like the going on, the nice weather says, "Come on outside and do something!"
• Cut back last season's growth on ornamental grasses. Getting the old growth out before the new shoots emerge is an easy job. But if you wait and allow the new growth to come up amid the old growth, it will be difficult to separate the two.
• If you left perennials like Echinacea standing for winter interest or for the birds to have seeds, cut them back and clean them up now.
• Rake the lawn to remove dead grass, twigs and debris that have collected over the winter. This is good prep for the first mowing. And while you're thinking of the mowing season, get your mower serviced and ready to mow, too.
• Plant early season veggies - carrots, peas, lettuce, spinach, radishes - if the ground is workable.
• If you have steel edging in the yard that has popped up during the winter, pound it back in place.
While you're doing these early season chores, look around and think about what you like best - and what you might like to change in your yard.
More and more, we're moving our leisure time outdoors. So what are the changes or amenities that would make your outside time more enjoyable? What are the problem areas you don't want to endure yet another season?
• Are there ongoing problem areas like low and mushy areas that always give the dog muddy feet?
• Are there pretty places where you would love to sit if only there was shade or some privacy from the neighbors?
• Would the earth elements of fire and water add some drama to your outdoor scene?
• Is the sprinkler system not much more than a hit-or-miss operation?
• Is the overall ambiance a little drab and in need of colorful plant pizzazz?
• Would an outdoor food prep area near the grill save lots of steps?
As these questions reveal, making a yard work for the people who live there is partly pragmatic and partly ambiance. All the pretty flowers in the world won't solve the aggravation of the mud hole in the corner. And just fixing the mud hole won't add the feel-good rush that you get from seeing a swath of bright pink petunias.
Great yards have to work in a practical way just as much as they make us feel good. When you look at your yard from both perspectives, you can make a plan that deals with problem areas and adds the amenities you will enjoy.
Need help with spring clean-up or planning this season's projects? Find a professional among ALCC's members located in six chapters statewide.
Courtesy Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado and Neils Lunceford, a landscaping company based in Silverthorne that is a member. You may contact them at (970) 468-0340.