As the weather begins to turn warmer, the last thing many homeowners want to think about is prepping the lawn, garden and outdoor living spaces. That being said, take the time to visually inspect your property, taking in the natural scapes to hardscapes. Think spring planting, outdoor entertaining and casual outdoor living. Look for wear and tear on your deck, check your outdoor lighting, walkways and driveway for raised or uneven surfaces, clean your outdoor kitchen and outdoor furniture; inspect the greenery.
Here are some important spring maintenance chores as well as some other tips for the new season.
Look closely at your shrubs and trees for broken or bent branches that could be caused by hurricane damage or winter cold and remove to allow for new plant growth. Make sure the branch is cut cleanly, not torn, to allow the plant to heal from its seasonal dormancy and to ensure its natural shape. New growth needs to be nurtured to reach fruition.
Prune buds on new wood and spent perennials. Leftover annuals? Pluck them. Flower and leaf buds should be showing now.
Enhance your outdoor lighting
Choose a reliable outdoor lighting contractor. NiteLites, an industry leader in professional outdoor lighting, suggests retrofitting existing systems to energyefficient LEDs and maintaining your outdoor lighting system regularly. With free outdoor lighting consultations and great maintenance programs available, NiteLites makes it easy to illuminate your home, landscape or commercial property to help provide curb appeal, safety and security.
NiteLites Outdoor Lighting
GREENING THE LAWN
Make sure your lawn is dry before walking on it and beginning spring maintenance.
Dethatch, aerate and reseed. Most of our lawns suffered some damage from Matthew, and dead grass needs to be raked and removed. Moisture and air reinvigorates fresh grass. If planting anew, consider doing a soil test to determine the pH and nutrient levels; applying lime might be the best option for high acid levels.
In the next month, fertilizing with herbicides adds nutrients to the soil. Control pests by applying an organic pesticide. The first few mowings should cut only the top third of the grass blades.
Take these steps to eliminate mosquitos
– After rain, empty bird baths, fountains, pots,buckets, barrels and tarps
– Clean out gutters to avoid standing water
– Drill holes in tire swings and trash cans so water drains.
– A professional service is the best way to eliminate mosquitoes. We provide ongoing defense and our technicians can find potential breeding areas.
Be mindful to check for winter weeds that might be emerging now. A post-emergence product should be used depending on grass type.
CLEANING OUTDOOR FURNITURE
Sun, rain, wind, heat, cold, tanning oils and nature’s droppings affect woods, metals, iron, plastic, wicker and bamboo. Tables, chairs, umbrellas, hammocks and cushions are all susceptible to damage.
Sweep the material to lightly clean, rinse and then wipe down with a sponge with a gentle cleanser. Rinse again and dry with a lint-free cloth. Scrub to remove mold, and regularly clean wicker to limit mildew buildup. Clean wood surfaces, paint if needed, and then seal with a preservative. Sand metal furniture lightly if there’s evidence of mold or rust, and then touch up with paint and apply a liquid wax for protection; a silicone spray will lubricate moving parts. Fabrics should be cleaned regularly; use a fabric protector to ensure water repellency.
IF YOU GO
The 2018 Lowcountry Home & Garden Show, presented by the Hilton Head Area Home Builders Association, will be held from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 16-17 and noon-4 p.m. March 18 at Buckwalter Regional Park, 905 Buckwalter Parkway, Bluffton.
For more information, call 843-681-9240 or go to www.hhahba.com.