Landscape Logic column: Don’t forget to love your landscape
The dormant season doesn’t have to be non-productive. When there’s no grass to mow and no weeds to pull, there should be time to get things in order so the spring start-up isn’t a haphazard search for tools and a mad dash to get the mower serviced the day before you need to mow the lawn. Using the winter downtime can have you ready to roll come spring.
Here’s our checklist of preseason readiness chores and fun things to do to fill the gap between the growing seasons:
No. 1 — Get tools and equipment ready to roll. If your favorite shovel in the shed isn’t sharp, then now is the time to get after it. When you’re at the hardware store, pick up these supplies: rags, steel wool, mineral spirits and a metal file.
Remove all rust before sharpening the blade of a shovel or hoe. Because rust shortens the life of garden tools, it’s always best to keep implements rust free. Wipe off the worst grime with a rag and use steel wool to scrub off the rust. Then wipe down both the metal tool and wooden handle with mineral oil.
Service the lawnmower if you didn’t last fall. When grass starts to grow, the lawnmower repair shops will be on overload. Get the mower in soon to avoid a long turn-around.
No. 2 — Learn something you can apply this growing season. Take a class, read a book or do online research into something you’ve always wanted to know but haven’t taken the time to explore. How do you lay out a water-saving waffle garden? Do you want to start growing heirlooms? Could you really grow enough grapes or berries to make a few bottles of wine? What’s the most cost effective way to create an outdoor living area with amenities you’ll enjoy? Give yourself the treat of exploring new outdoor options.
No. 3 — Plan and design the yard of your dreams so you’re ready to make it happen come spring. Is there an ongoing problem you are absolutely positively going to solve this spring? Do you have a new yard to landscape? Take the steps now to get your project planned so it’s ready to go when the weather is right.
No. 4 — Take a quick tour around the yard and identify the eyesores and maintenance issues such as trees to prune, dead shrubs to replace and beds to freshen up before spring. And remember the sprinkler system — the one part of the landscape that is most out of sight and out of mind. What can you do this year to make it more water efficient? Having a list will guide the do-it-yourself projects and help you get the outside help you need scheduled early in the season.
No. 5 — Get tickets for a local garden show where you’ll get an early taste of spring. There will be flowers to smell and much to see that can get your creative juices flowing. Take advantage of free seminars for helpful information.
Here’s to a season ahead of loving to be in your landscape!
Becky Garber is a member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, of which Neils Lunceford, a landscaping company, is a member. You may contact them at 970-468-0340.