Is it just me, or has this been one of the longer waits for good springtime weather? For most of the United States, the weather this March and April has been less than ideal for getting out in your yard.

However, hope is in the air. The weather outlook is looking brighter, and it's about to warm up. It is time to trade in your snow boots for garden boots, and get ready for another season of gorgeous trees, flowers, shrubs and garden beds.

Do you have a regular list of springtime tactics you use to prepare your lawn and garden for gorgeous bloom? We have a few tips to jumpstart your yard and ensure beauty all season long. So, early birds, break out those landscaping clothes and put in the time now that will pay off all summer.

Clean Up and Clear Out

Even if the winter months didn't involve a lot of snow or rain, chances are your garden beds and yard are not as tidy as you left them in the fall. The first thing to do is grab a wheelbarrow and begin removing all of those dead stalks, fallen branches, leaves, left over pinecones, and clumps of grass that make the yard a bit untidy and unkempt. Just this alone can make a world of difference in how the yard appears.

Plan Ahead for Pests

Spring is the perfect time to lay some defenses and begin protecting plants from local pests. Whether it is that hungry woodchuck that always manages to destroy bulbs just as they emerge, havoc-wreaking insects that appear even before buds open, or stealthy birds who pluck seedlings from the soil, now is the time to arm your garden from attack.

Get out into the garden to make wire mesh cages over your more delicate plants. Consider putting in some early deterrent plantings too, such as onions around roses and other plants subject to attack. Remember that you can also easily make a springtime soil treatment in a large bowl by mixing water with onion and garlic. After a few hours, when the scent becomes strong, pour the water around the base of tender or vulnerable plants.

Plants - New and Old

Before you get immersed in regular garden work, springtime is ideal for making lots of plans. Maybe you already have drawings to help you know how your beds will bloom, where some color is needed, or which perennials should be divided. This is the time to grab a calendar and make weekly plans that will save time later. It also ensures you can head to the garden center a bit early and get your hands on the right annuals and new perennials before the very ones you want have sold out!

Reconsider Your Tools

Don't make the same mistake that many gardeners do by ignoring to assess your tools until later in the season. Now is the time if you want to have the widest range of choices in new hand tools and the latest innovations. As the season progresses, you will notice that supplies at your local garden centers, big box home improvement stores, and even online suppliers diminish. Plus, using your new toy now beats battling decaying equipment for months.

Have you sharpened everything - including mower blades and shears? Is it time for a new leaf blower or trimmer? Maybe a composting barrel or water catcher is called for? Don't forget to consider the right clothes and shoes for landscaping, gardening, and mowing. Just as essential as that fantastic soil knife, well-designed trowel, or ergonomic rake, is gearing up right!

We hope you get the most out of spring! Enjoy this warming weather while preparing the yard for gorgeous bloom until the snow strikes again…and know that we're right there with you!

Michael Ferrino