At long last, spring has arrived! (or has it?) As you look out upon your garden, does the nagging question of “where do I even begin” sound familiar? There is so much to do in every corner of the yard this month that it is difficult to know where to start. In my opinion, the first and foremost thing to do is to stand back for a moment,  and simply enjoy the beauty that Mother Nature has given us…. Listen to the birds as they sing you a spring melody… dream a little… and then put on the gardening gloves and head out to make your dream garden a reality! As you begin your quest for the perfect garden, don’t overdo it! It’s probably been a few months since you gave those muscles and bones a good workout, so start out slowly and avoid that Monday morning backache.

The application of a spring type of lawn fertilizer should perk up the lawn and improve its over-all color and appearance. If there is moss growing in the lawn, use spring lawn fertilizer that has the moss-killer included, so you can do both jobs in one easy application. Spring is also a good time to thatch and over-seed the lawn. Thatch buildup can smother your lawn and provide an environment for diseases. Remove thatch with a brisk raking, or with a de thatching machine. Over seeding will help fill-in the lawn and deter the re-growth of moss and weeds. Use about one pound of quality grass seed for every 300 square feet of lawn area. Apply a light compost or soil over the seed to keep it moist and in place. Aerating the lawn will allow water to penetrate deeper into the lawn soil and reduce the need to water during the dryer months ahead. Use a garden fork and punch holes over the surface of your lawn. As mowing becomes necessary, be certain that the blade is sharp to prevent tearing the grass tips.

Set the blade on your lawnmower to cut the grass at 2 1/2 inches to avoid scalping. (A mulching blade will eliminate the need to rake or bag the clippings, prevent thatch buildup, and the clippings will provide food for the lawn.)

Rotate your house plants so that each side receives it’s share of light, for even growth and a balanced shape. As the sun’s rays strengthen, some plants, such as African Violets, may need to be moved away from a south-facing window to avoid leaf scorch.

Spring cleaning of your indoor plants will keep them beautiful and help to avoid diseases.  Remove any spent flowers, dead leaves or branches, or any yellowing leaves. Rinse the dust from the leaves with the kitchen sprayer. Clean leaves allow the plant to breathe! Pinching back the tips of foliage plants will stimulate new growth and make your plant fuller and bushier.