Anticipating and planning for the upcoming season

We hope you have the New Year off to a good start and got to explore the special show gardens and visit a few of the gardening vendors this last weekend at the Home and Garden Show. The days are already getting a little longer again and with the garden show and gardening catalogs all around us we know that spring will be here soon. We may not be certain about the stock market, our home values or even our jobs but we know that the sun will rise and set each day and that spring will arrive in early to mid April with our last freeze of the winter.  The certainty of spring gives us something really positive to anticipate.

There are many things we can do now to get ready for spring. We have been very dry for a couple of months and are getting close to winter drought conditions.  You really need to water your trees and shrubs to keep their roots healthy. Winter watering also helps prevent cold damage or freeze burn on evergreen foliage should they dehydrate in these dry conditions. You can also dig new flowerbeds or rototill existing beds and add organic matter to get ready for spring planting. This is a good time to dig down 6” and take soil samples to your local county extension office from your lawn and flowerbeds to analyze your soil nutrient conditions.  These soil tests will help you see what fertilizer you may need later this season or if you have too much or too little of various nutrients and minerals. You often can pay for your soil tests with reduced fertilizer once you know what you really need. You will be living a greener, more sustainable life by only buying and applying what you need instead of overfeeding.

I have read several stories in the paper lately about staging your home and the importance of curb appeal. Whether you are trying to sell your home or just wanting to be a good neighbor paying a little attention to your trees, shrubs and landscape is one of the most important ways to make your home stand out with good curb appeal. This is a good time to focus on your landscape. A little planning could add big value to your home in the future or at least make it more likely that future buyers would at least look at your home. Use your staycation or extra time at home to add trees, rework flowerbeds or develop your patio and outdoor living areas. You will enjoy the new look, living in these revitalized spaces and they will add real value to your home and property.

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