Spring into spring with helpful hints

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By Jim Colman, Lawn Solutions
After a mild winter, it looks like springtime is blooming a bit early. Lorapetalum, indica azaleas, and redbuds are already in bloom.  But if you look around your yard, chances are you see a few things that need some TLC.

Pruning
If you have crape myrtles in your yard, please don’t hack them down to their main trunk.  It’s just not desirable for a variety of reasons.
Instead, cut back the smallest branches at the top to about finger-sized diameter. You should also prune any crossing or rubbing branches. NOTE:  if you are going to prune crape myrtles, you should get it done in next couple of weeks, or wait until next year.
For your foundation shrubs or bedding shrubs, prune to create a natural, rounded look.  If your shrubs are overgrown, this is a great time to consider renovating. It is much better (and easier) to have the right shrub in the right spot.  It creates a lot of weekend work when you have 15-20’ shrubs in a spot calling for a 4’ shrub. Sometimes it just makes sense to pull out the old ones and put in the right ones. If you need help choosing new shrubbery, you may want to consult with a professional landscaper or nurseryman.
Avoid pruning spring blooming shrubs until they have completed their bloom cycle. Non-blooming shrubs can be pruned as needed.
If you’re looking for greater curb appeal, nothing is showier than annual beds.  Even a small bed properly placed can make a big impact.  Annual beds are a bit of a maintenance concern, but nothing brightens up the landscape like well-placed annuals. They are well worth the work.

Irrigation
Now’s the perfect time to check your yard’s irrigation system. Replace any damaged sprinkler heads, adjust the spray coverage to ensure all your areas are covered, and reset your control panel for the proper time and station spray periods.
Depending on our rainfall, you may not want to start irrigating your yard until it greens up a bit, but when you are ready, your sprinklers will be ready, too.

Pinestraw or Fresh Blended Mulch
This is also a great time to replenish your pinestraw or mulched areas. These items are attractive, adding color and texture to the landscape.  And they fulfill vital functions as well … suppressing weeds and holding moisture.

Fertilizers
While it’s tempting to spread lawn fertilizer on the first day of short-sleeve weather, we need to wait. March is too early, April can be OK if the weather warms up fast, but May is usually perfect. Your lawn should be green before you put down fertilizer — don’t apply it when the grass is still dormant.
April is a great time for fertilizing your ornamental shrubs and small trees.
If you need help selecting the correct blend, you may wish to consult with a landscape or nursery professional.
For more information, call Jim Colman at Lawn Solutions, 522-9578, or www.lawnsolutions.us. Lawn Solutions is a veteran-owned, family-operated small business serving Beaufort since 1998.