Are any of your friends or family avid football fans? If you would rather spend time in your garden than watching football, this is your chance! While everyone else is thinking about the big game, here’s what you can do to make your outdoor living space the champion of the neighbourhood.
If you’re hoping to enjoy your outdoor living space to the fullest this year, the first consideration you must make is what your landscape/hardscape design should look like. If your back yard is a shapeless field of overgrown grass, use these landscape design ideas to begin the transformation from underdog to champion:
- Deck or patio: Outdoor rooms require outdoor furniture, and a hard surface such as a patio or wood deck facilitates your needs best. A wide range of materials and design choices let you customize what your outdoor living area looks like.
- Pergola or awning: To extend the amount of time you can spend in your yard, you may want to install an overhead fixture to filter the sunlight and protect you from the rain. pergolas and retractable awnings are among your most versatile options.
- Fire pit or fireplace: Another way to help you enjoy your yard more is to install a source of light and heat. Fire pits and fireplaces are popular options for the ambiance they create, as well as they draw your guests to an outdoor living space!
- Water feature: Whether you’re interested in a sizeable swimming pool, luxurious hot tub, or soothing fountain, a water feature could be a great addition to your landscape design project.
Prep Your Garden
The weather will be warming up soon, which means now is the time to prepare your garden for the growing season. Like a football coach, you can give your garden the best chance of making it to the playoffs if you prune the weak parts and encourage the strongest parts to meet their full potential. Here’s what you should do to prep your garden in early spring:
- Clear out dead material: Remove any debris lingering from last season. Consider starting a compost pile with any organic material you clear out, including leaves and small branches.
- Fix raised beds, trellises, and fencing: With fewer roots for you to disturb in early spring, now’s the time to straighten and fix these components in your yard to create a clean slate for planting a new garden.
- Add mulch to keep weeds at bay: Pull out any weeds peeking up through the ground. Then, cover any bare spots in your garden bed or around the base of trees with mulch or ground cover to minimize the appearance of new weeds.
- Top dress your garden beds: This means adding compost or well-seasoned manure to your garden beds in preparation for planting. Simply lay it on top; the nutrients will work their way down into the soil.
- Prune trees and perennials: If you haven’t already done so earlier in the dormant season, prune unwanted branches from fruit trees and shrubs. Azaleas, dogwood, forsythia, weigela, and other spring shrubs are okay to prune now. However, avoid pruning spring-blooming trees and shrubs in late winter.
- Transplant any shrubs you want to move: Soil is more consistently wet in spring, making this a favorable time to transplant shrubs. Dig around the central root mass with a spade. Dig a new hole several inches wider than the main root mass you’ve dug up and add organic fertilizer or compost. Set the transplanted shrub in place and fill in around the edges with lightly compacted soil.
Start a Container Garden
If you don’t have much garden space, or you simply prefer to grow your vegetables in containers, spring is the time to get started. Here are the basics for growing an all-star container garden:
- Stock up on planters: The containers you choose can vary from expensive pots to recycled 2x4s nailed together. It just depends on your budget and what you want the final product to look like. Keep in mind that herbs do well in small pots while tomatoes and other large vegetables need a deeper planter to thrive.
- Gather the rest of your supplies: You’ll also need potting soil, seeds or seedlings (herbs, lettuce, and tomatoes are especially good choices for container gardens), a spade, gardening gloves, and a sunny spot for your container garden to grow. Follow the guidelines on seed packets or seedling containers regarding how much sun different plants need (i.e. full sun, partial shade, or full shade).
- Plant your garden: Fill each container with soil. Follow the guidelines on your seed packets or seedlings to determine proper spacing.
- Care for your container garden: Water your plants regularly around the base of the plant rather than through the leaves. Herbs should always have somewhat damp soil. However, for tomatoes, wait until the soil is dry an inch or two deep before watering again.
- Harvest your garden: Snip leaves or vegetables off plants with scissors. When harvesting herbs, pick leaves from the base of the plant, so it will continue to grow up and out. Maintain a few containers of the same plant at a time so you always have access to fresh herbs and vegetables for your next meal.
Get Help from The Grounds Guys®
If you’re still not sure how to bring these ideas to life in your garden, The Grounds Guys can help. We offer a broad range of residential landscaping and lawn care services to help you get a head start on your garden this spring. Don’t worry – it’s not cheating to hand off the hard work to our professional crew, and by choosing us as your landscape experts, you free up more time to celebrate the big game with your family and friends.
For more garden prep tips, or to schedule services, contact your local The Grounds Guys!