It certainly appears that spring is arriving early this year! During the unexpected warm spells we’ve had this winter, I forced myself to let my garden rest. I try to be a good steward of my lawn and garden by leaving cover and leaves for the beneficial insects to overwinter in. But now it’s finally time to get to work! Now is a perfect time to weed and mulch our flower beds and shrubs and be proactive in dealing with Japanese Beetles. One of the best ways that we’ve found to prevent them from chomping on our garden is a product called Milky Spore. It targets the grubs, can be effective up to 10 years, and it’s not toxic to anything other than Japanese Beetles!
Before you start dropping plants into the ground, take the time to cultivate your garden. Breaking up the top layer of soil will lead to greater water penetration and allow air and nutrients deeper into the soil for plant roots to access. Sprouting seeds will break through the surface of the soil more easily, and it interrupts the germination of weeds. This is also the time to amend your soil and fertilize it. The goal of amending your soil is to improve the actual structure of the soil, so that fertilizers can work effectively. Common amendments are peat moss, compost, gypsum, and aged manure.
Before you spend time on your decks and porches, look for loose or damaged boards, handrails, and steps. Repairing or replacing damaged sections can save you from a bigger and more expensive repair or even an injury down the road. If you’re planning to brighten things up with new paint or stain, pressure wash first so you have a clean base. If you didn’t seal off drafty windows and doors in the fall, go ahead and take care of them now. That way you’ll keep the bugs and hot air outside where they belong! After caulking, you might want to freshen the window frames with a new coat of paint. Just make sure that you’re using a paint that’s specifically designed to be used outside. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself repeating this sooner than later. Replace the air filters in your air conditioning unit now to reduce stress on your machine and allow it to run more efficiently. Doing so will save electricity and that translates to saved money. Replacing the filter will also reduce the amount of allergens and dust circulating in your home. While you’re at it, go ahead and clean up that grill before you fire it up because summer will be here before you know it! If you have a question about something I didn’t address here, don’t hesitate to come see us. At Randy’s Hardware, we don’t mind your questions! We don’t mind ‘em at all!