Where were you last year when spring suddenly took off in Colorado? Was your lawnmower ready to roll? Were the tools clean and ready to dig into the ground? Did you have to drag the garden hose around the yard because the sprinkler system was turned on too late?
With snow on the ground, launching into spring is far from our minds. Nevertheless, warm-weather Saturdays ahead could be a great opportunity to ramp up for spring. Write out the list of calls to make to schedule late-winter watering, aerating the lawn and activating the sprinkler system. Check the plants, they may need some extra water before the spring rains. Next, get tools in order.
It’s been a dry winter and plants need water, especially plants installed last growing season. Without winter water, they will have a rough start when Mother Nature wakes up and says it’s time to grow. Check soil moisture around trees, shrubs and perennials ASAP and if it’s dry, give the soil a good soak with the garden hose or contact your landscape company to provide the service.
Growing season prep applies first to tools and then to the yard. To be effective and efficient in any task, you need the right tools that are in good condition.
Take stock of shovels, rakes, weeding tools and pruners stashed in the garage or shed. Do DIY repairs and schedule maintenance services for the tasks you won’t do yourself.
- Remove caked soil from last season from surfaces of shovels and other tools.
- Remove rust from metal surfaces with steel wool and apply WD-40.
- Replace broken handles on shovels and rakes. It’s more cost effective and sustainable than discarding them and buying new implements.
- Sharpen blades on pruners.
Replace and upgrade. Take advantage of early-season coupons and discounts at garden centers to replace worn-out tools and upgrade to items that will be more efficient and body-friendly. Look for ergonomic hand trowels, weeders and other tools. Some are labeled for use by people who have arthritis or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). Make your tasks easier this season with tools that work for you.
Be ready to mow and not waiting in line to have the lawn mower serviced. Schedule the spring tune-up soon so the mower is in and out of the shop early. Repair shops will have replacement parts on hand and recycle the oil, both of which can save you time and effort.
If you’re going to DIY:
- Make sure old gas and oil are drained and replaced with fresh fluid and fuel.
- Recycle the oil.
- Replace the spark plug.
- Sharpen the mower blade.
It pays to be the early bird when preparing for spring!
— courtesy Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado
enews March 2018