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When do you start to work on your yard, flower beds, etc


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#1
Aviationdave

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Given that we have such a wide variety of climate in our region from WV to Delaware, when do you start to work on your lawn. Put down fertilizer? Plant annuals? Mulch shrub beds?

I am curious to see how it varies across the region, so if you dont have it in your profile, add your location when you post.

Thanks

#2
jonjon

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  • Joined November 12, 2010

I don't normally cut grass until about May 1st. I may do some plantings of hearty varieties a week or two prior -- but the high risk of freezes and frosts makes gardening stressful up here. Its my biggest complaint about the climate in these parts.

#3
MD Snow

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Run a landscaping business. I start doing everything the second week in march

#4
BethesdaWX

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I got everything done in Late March as usual....Mulched, Layed down Sod, weeded, seeded, planted, and finally got rid of the dead tree in the back with my new Husky Ripsaw :thumbsup:

I find seeding the lawn once per week in March (with Kentucky Bluegrass seed), then once per week In April (with southern style seed), really boosts the thickness of the Lawn during the Summer drought (DC split never fails here).

#5
TeaysValleyWV

  • 954 posts
  • Joined November 12, 2010

Given that we have such a wide variety of climate in our region from WV to Delaware, when do you start to work on your lawn. Put down fertilizer? Plant annuals? Mulch shrub beds?

I am curious to see how it varies across the region, so if you dont have it in your profile, add your location when you post.

Thanks

My latitude is 38.45. As a reference for you over east, that's about the same latitude as Fredericksburg, VA. Elevation in my backyard is 705 feet. I'm in a wide, rolling valley floor with surrounding hill tops at 1000 feet. Cold air tends to settle in at night.

I put Scotts TB +Halts on 3 weeks ago when the forsythia started blooming. I usually don't fertilize so early, but the crabgrass started to come back last year and wanted to use Halts for control. I've cut the lawn twice so far.

I get mulch delivered around the second weekend in April. I have them dump it in the driveway and spread it when I get time through the week.

You can get by planting annuals and tomatoes here after May 1st, but you have to be careful. I had my last sub 32 on May 9th last year.

#6
nw baltimore wx

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I put down the spring crab grass control mid-March and rototill the fall leaves into the garden at the same time. The onions and peas went in last weekend, although I covered the peas with a black trash bag and put the clippings from the first mowing over that because of the cold. I'll check them today to see if they've germinated yet. I'll put in some lettuce and spinach soon, but I hold off on everything else until the last weekend of April or the first in May.

Even on these chilly days it's just nice to be out there with the higher sun.

#7
snownut

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I have two properties.

One here in Hardy County WV that varies from about 1650' up to 2000' that we purchased in July 2005.

It has been mostly forest management here. I have started an little orchard but the deer have kept it in check until now as I put up an electric fence 2 weekends ago so now we will see? Soil is rocky and poor but should work fine for the fruit trees. Late frosts are uncommon up out of the valley so optimistic trees will really get going this year? I have two pear trees, two plumb trees, two apple trees and one hardy almond ( the deer killed the other) Also some blue berry bushes the deer have kept trimmed back. This is the year things get going without the deer?

I have also planted 100's of little evergreens, found the Norway Spruce do well here, the other things have been deer food.

Lots of daffodils here, one in bloom so far, most are just coming up.

The second property we just moved into on Feb 18th.

A cookie cutter home in Boyce, VA (530') so I will be starting from scratch there.

Only one tree on the property a tiny ornamental cherry just in bloom.

I will miss the great soil, bulbs, nice garden and established landscaping I had in Aldie, VA. I will not miss the huge yard and mowing.

New home had sod put down in December so nothing down on that yet, it is still greening up. (only about 10 minutes? to mow and trim as the property is small)

Maybe fall until money and time allows for serious landscaping in Boyce?


Very happy to have two paradoxal property's and look forward to years of planting and gardening.

Enjoy the spring and hopes for a wet summer.

#8
ThreeRedheads

  • No, this ain't my first rodeo~Boyd Crowder

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My lawn was aerated and seeded two days ago.

I have some climbing rose bushes and clematis plants I want to plant. I need to make a new flower bed along my back fence. My ultimate goal is to cover up the fence with the climbing vines.

Does anyone know if I just buy topsoil and mix it in, along with fertilizer?

Since it's so chilly out, they're in my garage right now. Just waiting for a warm stretch.

#9
Aviationdave

  • 8,213 posts
  • Joined November 11, 2010

I don't normally cut grass until about May 1st. I may do some plantings of hearty varieties a week or two prior -- but the high risk of freezes and frosts makes gardening stressful up here. Its my biggest complaint about the climate in these parts.

Well you are the tundra of the mid atlantic jon jon LOL. Your growing season is what around 130 days or so tops?
Any snow on the ground out there now?

I got everything done in Late March as usual....Mulched, Layed down Sod, weeded, seeded, planted, and finally got rid of the dead tree in the back with my new Husky Ripsaw :thumbsup:

I find seeding the lawn once per week in March (with Kentucky Bluegrass seed), then once per week In April (with southern style seed), really boosts the thickness of the Lawn during the Summer drought (DC split never fails here).


When you do seed your lawn, do you mix up the bare spots and then seed or do you just seed the entire lawn and hope that it catches on to some loose soil and then germinate?

My latitude is 38.45. As a reference for you over east, that's about the same latitude as Fredericksburg, VA. Elevation in my backyard is 705 feet. I'm in a wide, rolling valley floor with surrounding hill tops at 1000 feet. Cold air tends to settle in at night.

I put Scotts TB +Halts on 3 weeks ago when the forsythia started blooming. I usually don't fertilize so early, but the crabgrass started to come back last year and wanted to use Halts for control. I've cut the lawn twice so far.

I get mulch delivered around the second weekend in April. I have them dump it in the driveway and spread it when I get time through the week.

You can get by planting annuals and tomatoes here after May 1st, but you have to be careful. I had my last sub 32 on May 9th last year.


good stuff Teays. Have you seen any effect of the Halt with the crabgrass yet? We had that issue in NH big time, took over entire yards on our road. Nasty stuff for sure.
Yeah we usualy do the same with mulch, buy it bulk it is much cheaper and then take a weekend and spread it among the shrub beds


I put down the spring crab grass control mid-March and rototill the fall leaves into the garden at the same time. The onions and peas went in last weekend, although I covered the peas with a black trash bag and put the clippings from the first mowing over that because of the cold. I'll check them today to see if they've germinated yet. I'll put in some lettuce and spinach soon, but I hold off on everything else until the last weekend of April or the first in May.

Even on these chilly days it's just nice to be out there with the higher sun.


Nice Bmorewx. usually the peas and onions are more tolerable. My wife doesnt want a garden this year so maybe more of a container type garden for her this year with a few veggies.

I have two properties.

One here in Hardy County WV that varies from about 1650' up to 2000' that we purchased in July 2005.

It has been mostly forest management here. I have started an little orchard but the deer have kept it in check until now as I put up an electric fence 2 weekends ago so now we will see? Soil is rocky and poor but should work fine for the fruit trees. Late frosts are uncommon up out of the valley so optimistic trees will really get going this year? I have two pear trees, two plumb trees, two apple trees and one hardy almond ( the deer killed the other) Also some blue berry bushes the deer have kept trimmed back. This is the year things get going without the deer?

I have also planted 100's of little evergreens, found the Norway Spruce do well here, the other things have been deer food.

Lots of daffodils here, one in bloom so far, most are just coming up.

The second property we just moved into on Feb 18th.

A cookie cutter home in Boyce, VA (530') so I will be starting from scratch there.

Only one tree on the property a tiny ornamental cherry just in bloom.

I will miss the great soil, bulbs, nice garden and established landscaping I had in Aldie, VA. I will not miss the huge yard and mowing.

New home had sod put down in December so nothing down on that yet, it is still greening up. (only about 10 minutes? to mow and trim as the property is small)

Maybe fall until money and time allows for serious landscaping in Boyce?


Very happy to have two paradoxal property's and look forward to years of planting and gardening.

Enjoy the spring and hopes for a wet summer.


thats sweet you have two different climates to play around with. Yeah deer will chomp down those soft evergreens down to nothing. Anything spruce like and it is pointy they will stay away from, supposedly they dont like the sight of their own blood. You would probably do well with Mountain Laurel up there in WV too? good luck with the new place in Aldie. A fresh clean plot is fun to work with.

My lawn was aerated and seeded two days ago.

I have some climbing rose bushes and clematis plants I want to plant. I need to make a new flower bed along my back fence. My ultimate goal is to cover up the fence with the climbing vines.

Does anyone know if I just buy topsoil and mix it in, along with fertilizer?

Since it's so chilly out, they're in my garage right now. Just waiting for a warm stretch.



Kim, You can buy topsoil with fertilizer in it already, does it work or is it a scam? I dont know. I usually will mix in some topsoil or humus where applicable and then just fertilize the plants seperately.

#10
Kevin Druff

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I refuse to really take care of my lawn. I hate the stuff. If I could convince the wife to let me plow it up and plant wheat or corn, I would.

As for the other stuff: we started our green peas (English, sugar snap, etc.), leeks, and bok choi, inside in early-to-mid February. We directly sowed additional more of these, placed the seedlings outside, and added salad greens around the first of March. We have recently begun to start (a few every 3-5 days) tomatoes (San Marzano, Super Sweet 100s, Pink Caspians), field peas, cucumbers, and zucchini inside (we have a grow rack with florescent lights and heat maps). These will be moved outside after the 1st of May.

We will plant our potatoes in the next 2-3 weeks, depending on how the forecasted warm-up plays out. We will plant a few sweet potato vines, too. Once the end of July to mid-August rolls around it becomes harvest time, but we also plant our cool weather crops back in the soil for fall vegetables and we overwinter a few things (leeks, spinach, arugula, etc.)

#11
BethesdaWX

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  • Joined November 12, 2010

When you do seed your lawn, do you mix up the bare spots and then seed or do you just seed the entire lawn and hope that it catches on to some loose soil and then germinate?



For bare spots, if the soil is Dry (like it was after winter 2008/09), then I'll use a tiller/mixer to loosen it up, then put seed down & water it every other day only in the bare spots. If the soil is Moist like it is now, then I just put the seed down.

One issue I keep having, Birds are always eating the seeds I put down, especially when I do not mix the soil, which is why sometimes Sod is the way to go.

#12
Sparky

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  • Joined November 13, 2010

I add mulch to the gardens sometime in April when the weather warms a bit. I don't plant annuals until nearly Memorial Day. If May is on the cold side annuals have a hard time getting going anyhow so I wait to the end. I started putting down some grass seed already even though it won;t go anywhere with the cold that lingers on I just gave it a head start.

#13
nw baltimore wx

  • 2,139 posts
  • Joined November 15, 2010

My lawn was aerated and seeded two days ago.

I have some climbing rose bushes and clematis plants I want to plant. I need to make a new flower bed along my back fence. My ultimate goal is to cover up the fence with the climbing vines.

Does anyone know if I just buy topsoil and mix it in, along with fertilizer?

Since it's so chilly out, they're in my garage right now. Just waiting for a warm stretch.


There's a local product available at any home center by the name of Leafgro and it's good stuff. You may want to give it a try.

http://www.menv.com/leafgro.shtml


For bare spots, if the soil is Dry (like it was after winter 2008/09), then I'll use a tiller/mixer to loosen it up, then put seed down & water it every other day only in the bare spots. If the soil is Moist like it is now, then I just put the seed down.

One issue I keep having, Birds are always eating the seeds I put down, especially when I do not mix the soil, which is why sometimes Sod is the way to go.


I seed in the fall after aerating. I did my entire estate (a whopping .22 acres) from seed in 2004, but last August I killed a large area of grass with Roundup in both the front and backyard because bermuda grass had gotten in there. Then, mid-September after it had dried and browned out, I burned it and re-seeded. If anyone is looking for a good seed that gets super dark green and comes in thick and even (so far), I'd say try Vigoro's RTF. It's only early spring, but you can't even tell where I seeded.

Oh, and the birds won't eat enough to cause problems, especially if (as you said) rake in the seed. But try not to do too much raking in the spring because it promotes crab grass germination.

#14
marked8

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  • Joined November 13, 2010

The flowers have already come out at my house, but I still have not gotten all of the fallen trees and branches out of the yard. Every time I have spare time like today it rains. I am hoping I can take my new riding mower for a spin by the end of the month. Right now my middle back yard is still mud.

#15
nj2va

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  • Joined December 20, 2010

This weekend!

#16
BethesdaWX

  • 7,105 posts
  • Joined November 12, 2010

There's a local product available at any home center by the name of Leafgro and it's good stuff. You may want to give it a try.

http://www.menv.com/leafgro.shtml




I seed in the fall after aerating. I did my entire estate (a whopping .22 acres) from seed in 2004, but last August I killed a large area of grass with Roundup in both the front and backyard because bermuda grass had gotten in there. Then, mid-September after it had dried and browned out, I burned it and re-seeded. If anyone is looking for a good seed that gets super dark green and comes in thick and even (so far), I'd say try Vigoro's RTF. It's only early spring, but you can't even tell where I seeded.

Oh, and the birds won't eat enough to cause problems, especially if (as you said) rake in the seed. But try not to do too much raking in the spring because it promotes crab grass germination.


Oh yes, I found out about crab-grass the hard way :lol: I apply a lime chemical solution now, and it works magically. I also seed in October, does a good Job in the Early spring Greening process.

#17
TeaysValleyWV

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  • Joined November 12, 2010

. Have you seen any effect of the Halt with the crabgrass yet? We had that issue in NH big time, took over entire yards on our road. Nasty stuff for sure.


I read somewhere that crabgrass seed doesn't germinate until the soil reaches a temperature of 55 degrees and stays that way for 4 consecutive nights. This won't happen around here until around mid to late May. But, you have to get pre-emergent control (Halts) on early so it has time to wash into the top layer of soil before the seeds germinate. Once crabgrass germinates, it is very difficult to control(until next year).

When we bought our current house 14 years ago, it was new construction that had been sitting for a year. The yard was basically hard packed clay full of weeds and crabgrass. I didn't do a complete kill. I had the lawn professionally re-seeded with a slit seeder the first Fall. The soil tested acidic so I applied several batches of lime to get it back to normal. Over the next few years I religiously aerated, re-seeded, and fertized with weed control. I also never bag grass clipping and leaves, everything is mulched with the mower to build up the top soil. It took about 3 years to get the lawn to where I want it.

Being from the north I learned a few things the hard way. Bluegrass doesn't do well here. It's too hot in the summer. Red Creeping Fescue(even thopught it is a fescue) also doesn't do well in the summer in full sun. That is what the local lawn guy put down the first year. I switched to tall fescue blends and lately been re-seeding with a fescue/bluegrass blend that is supposed to be more heat/drought tolerant.

Anyway I got to rambling there, but to answer your question you won't see effects of the Halts until June when you will either see , or not see, young crabgrass blades. It may take a couple of years to get it fully under control. I haven't used Halts every year since I got it under control. Lately I've used it in late summer to try to control seed head annual bluegrass. It germinates when soil temperature cools down. You just have to be careful with Halts because it will prevent everything from germinating including regular grass seed.

My neighbors don't control their lawn weeds as well as I do so I do an occasional boundary patrol :lol: and spot spray any intruders.

#18
mapgirl

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  • Joined November 12, 2010

I don't have a yard to plant anything, but I do have a pot that I plant flowers in each year and put on our balcony. This year for Christmas my work gave us a card that has seeds in it, the paper recycles naturally as the seeds grow.

The seeds are for:
Annual Gaillardia
Catchfly
Siberian Wallflower
Chinese Houses
Baby Blue-Eyes

Should be really pretty when they bloom. I'm excited!

#19
wishforsnow

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  • Joined November 12, 2010

After the snow melts out of my yard I start to try to sweep the mining slag and sand out of the yard into the street so the street cleaner can come suck it up. I use a stiff broom to that, but as I get older this is becoming a pain. So since I need a new weed trimmer I bought one that I can put a power sweeper attachment on it. That will make that chore much easier. I will also rake up all the pine cones, twigs, and leaves. I don't usually have to start to mow grass until mid to late June. We don't really get a spring here. The trees don't bud out until mid May here. Can't plant anything outside until at least mid June and even then we can have a bad frost.

#20
wxtrix

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we do nothing to the lawn and our yard guy comes by and mows when he feels he needs to. in the spring he generally lets the grass go to seed to reseed any bare spots. I let the dandelions grow free. neither of us are into putting green lawns.

also, I hate mulch. hate the smell, hate how it looks, hate how it is gets stuck in the soil. I plant flowers thickly and use vinca to cover bare areas and keep weeds down.

I"ve started clearing out my flower beds--since I plant really thickly so I have a lot of detritus now to get rid now. the crocuses, daffodils, tulips, wood hyacinths, magic lilies/pink ladies, day lilies, and various kinds of irises are all up. I think I have freesia coming up after not coming up last year, and my glads are poking up too. I can see the red peony sprouts which means I need to clean out that area now and I am guessing I have canna lilies sprouting too. I'm going out in a bit to do some work on it before the race starts.

I reserve one part of the bed for annuals and I'm not sure what I'll do with that area later in the spring as we are under contract for a new house and even though it's a short sale, the feeling is that it's going to move quickly one way or the other. I may just let that area go over to grass and not worry about it.

the best part of spring for me is when I'm able to put up all of my hanging baskets on the porch but we're still a few weeks away from that.

#21
WinterWxLuvr

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It varies here, as it does everywhere, but usually around the first week or two of April is when I start mowing grass. I usually will let it get high, then aerate so that the plugs will lay on high grass, let them dry, then cut the grass low just that once. Being someone who is very picky about grass, I've managed to learn a little over the years. The main thing that I have learned is that fall is the time to baby your lawn. Weed killing in the spring is tough. I never try to apply any weed control AND fertilizer at the same time. It just seems pointless. Also, tough weeds, like clover (which I will not tolerate in my yard) are much easier to kill in the fall. I don't sweat dandelions much because they are very seasonal. As soon as it gets hot, they're gone, at least the flowers. I've also learned that grass planting in the spring is not far from having a bird feeder. It is easy to get grass to germinate in the spring, but it has to be absolutely babied during the summer, or it will certainly die if it gets hot and dry. Anyone here who has not tried fall grass plantings would be very pleased with the results. Get in the ground early enough to mow it a couple of times before the first hard freeze and its fine.

Otherwise, I can't really get excited about outdoor work until everything starts growing. When that happens, there's nothing I'd rather be doing than trying to improve my "yardscape".

#22
Sparky

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I am getting bids to have 2 maple trees removed from my backyard and have a couple of others pruned. To think I planted these two trees about 17 years ago when they were little twigs. Now the biggest one is close to 60 feet tall. So there is too much shade, the grass is not growing well underneath, and way too many leaves in the fall. This was the fastest growing tree of the dozens I planted on my property. It was nice for most of those years, but time to say goodbye.

#23
WVclimo

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I was cutting the grass before the end of March last year. First cut the other years I've been in this area were around 4/10. So far it hasn't been necessary yet, but I suspect that after this rain storm and the subsequent warmup, it will be necessary by next week.

#24
BlizzardNole

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I have dozens of tropical milkweeds and zinnias growing under my plant light kit to be planted in a few weeks. I go with May 1, give or take a couple days, for planting these annuals. If its late April and the pattern looks normal/mild with no chance of a frreeze any time soon I'll go for it.




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