Plant a Window Box
Few tasks put us in a spring mood like filling window boxes with colorful annuals. Bringing this sign of spring home is as simple as buying potting mix and plants. A planter that’s a couple inches shorter than the width of the window looks best. For a stand-out look, include plants with a variety leaf sizes, colors, and growth habits—trailing, compact, spiky and so on.
Check Your Garden Tools
Give your gardening tools and equipment a good once-over now so that you're ready for heavier landscaping work later in the season. Sharpen blades; replace weak or broken handles; and tighten any loose nuts, bolts, or screws. Plus, don't forget to test the garden hose for leaks; a damaged hose can be repaired with the aid of a hose mender.
Test Your Soil
Test your soil’s pH—only then can you confidently plan for soil amendments like fertilizer. Home centers and hardware stores carry basic kits, any of which will prove fairly accurate if you closely follow the directions. Since soil composition varies, take samples from several places around your property.
Seeds, Trees, and Bushes
Don't delay! Now is the time to order seeds, bushes, and trees so that you can plant once the the last frost has passed. As a convenience, saving you the hassle of storage, many online or catalog vendors will delay sending your purchases until the time comes to put them in the ground.
Ready Your Deck
Before heading outdoors to entertain, clean the surface of your deck and as you go along, inspect the structure for any issues in need of repair. Fix loose handrails, steps, and deck boards as soon as possible and if appropriate for your decking material, add a fresh coat of sealer. Last but certainly not least, fire up that grill!
Clean Your Rugs
Your rugs have spent the long winter under the treads of slushy, salty boots—they deserve a little TLC. Once the weather starts to warm up, DIY rug cleaning is the perfect project to tackle when you can only spare an hour or two. So get out your vacuum and garden hose and ready your rugs for another year of cushioning footfalls.
Service Your Lawn Mower
Along with spring comes the ritual of lawn mowing. Make sure you’ll be ready once the grass starts getting high. Change the oil in your mower, replace its spark plug or plugs, and swap in a new air filter. Also, clean the cutting blade; if it's dull, have a professional do the sharpening.
Organize Your Garage
When the weather gets warm, your family will be racing for bikes, scooters, and other recreational items that spent the winter hibernating in your garage. To ensure that everything fun is easily accessible, give your garage a good clean-out, wash, and reorganization.
Spring is the best time to reseed warm-weather grass, while fall is the ideal time to plant cool-weather seeds. Still, if you live in colder climes, now is a good time to reseed patches of lawn that sustained damage over the winter. Keep the seeded area adequately watered, then avoid walking on the area until the new growth is well established.
A well-maintained compost pile breaks down organic matter no matter the season, but the bacteria and critters responsible for this process are not as active during the winter. Rev up the compost system again by turning the pile to allow air and water to circulate. Some compost may have cured during the winter and be ready to sift from the pile, after which it be added to your garden beds. A compost sifter like this one, which is designed to sit atop a wheelbarrow, can help.
Warm-weather grass will benefit from a spring application of fertilizer. Cool-weather grass, too, may need a light application of fertilizer to look its best at this time of year. If your soil test indicates that nutrients are a little low, pick up a fertilizer to bring the lawn back into a healthy balance. Pay special attention to the contents of your fertilizer, making sure you buy one that addresses the unique needs of your lawn.
Rake Your Beds
As the last of the snow melts away, spring bulbs are getting ready to burst forth and bloom. Rake your beds to clear away leaves or debris to expose delicate shoots to the light. Watch where you rake, however, so as not to damage the small beginnings of crocus, daffodil, and other early bloomers.
Put a Little Spring in Your Landscape
Perk up your yard for spring with these landscaping tips.
Whether you're a lawn care novice or a master gardener, everyone can use a little help around the yard. Subscribe to The Dirt newsletter for tips, recommendations, and problem-solving tools that can help you tame your great outdoors.