Brushing up on landscaping tips might not be on the top of your April to do list. But while it’s not looking fully like spring just yet, signs hint that warm and sunny days are just around the corner. Robins, snowmelt, more sunshine and the first green shoots tell us the seasons are changing, and it’s time to start to planning landscaping projects for spring and summer.
In the Adirondacks, nice looking outdoor spaces help us make the most of the warm weather when it finally comes. As the grey winter moves out and muddy spring settles in, it’s time to take notice of the condition of your lawn, shrubs, and overall landscape. Our skilled agents at Adirondack Premier Properties know that a great looking yard can improve the enjoyment, value and saleability of your home. Read on for our helpful spring and summer landscaping tips to get your property looking its best.
Spring Landscaping Tips
The first step in your spring landscaping routine is to survey your yard and overall landscape. Walk your property and look for any damage that may have occurred over the winter. Typical damage discovered by Adirondack homeowners includes edges dug up by plows, holes or burrows dug by animals, or ice chunks or branches falling on vegetation, hardscape or other structures.
Addressing these damages in early spring allows you to set your plants up to take full advantage of the rapid growth period that spring offers. Most new grass and vegetation growth happens right as spring gets started. If you survey your property early and take care of any damage before spring growth begins, your plants and vegetation will get started earlier and grow bigger over the growing season.
Adirondack Landscaping Tips To Repair Winter Damage
Plow/Shovel Scrape Marks – In grassy areas, place a dug up grass chunk from a less conspicuous area of the yard in the scraped area. Apply pressure by standing on the piece of transplanted sod grass or use a tamper to refill the scrape marks. You may need to add more soil to completely fill the scraped areas.
Road Sand In Your Yard – Sand covering your grass stops it from getting the spring sunshine it needs. In the Adirondacks, sand is often pushed from the road into your yard leaving the edge buried in sand. After a week or two of dry weather, this sand can be removed with a shop broom. Use short strokes to push the dried sand back to the edge of the road. When your town road crew comes through for spring clean up, they will pick up the extra sand. If you have low spots or animal holes to fill, collect the sand in a bucket and use it elsewhere on your property as fill.
Spring Vegetation Care and Planting Prep
Low Spots In Lawn – If you are left with low spots after the spring thaw, follow these landscaping tips. Refill area with soil and be sure to tamp or step on it as you go. When filling, overfill by an inch as the filled area will settle with next soaking rain. After the low spots are filled, plant grass seed. You may need to cover newly planted seed with hay or a seed cover mat to protect from wind and hungry animals.
Dead/ Bare Grass Spots – To repair this issue, spread grass seed using a spreader. Cover the seed with a seed cover mat to protect from wind and animals. If it is a dry spring, water the seeded area occasionally. If you notice low spots in the fall, remember that fall is usually the best time to plant grass. Planting right before the snow falls allows your seeds to be protected by the snow, and it’s already in place at spring thaw to maximize growth.
Removing Shrub Guards – If your property has shrubs, you may have installed guards to protect them from winter elements. Now is the time to remove the guards and let your shrub get some sun.
Weed Removal & Fertilize –New plant growth means new weed growth too. As things start to green, remove weeds from around your home. This is also a good time to add fertilizer to established plants to support summer growth.
Prepare Your Planting Beds – Save some fertilizer to prepare your planting beds for vegetables, herbs or flowers. If you have established garden beds or perennial beds, consider whether they may need some fresh fertilizer too.
Fresh Mulch – Spring is a great time to freshen up mulch in your plant beds or around your trees. If you plan to plant seasonal flowers or plants, you may want to delay adding fresh mulch until your plants are in. This may push your mulching back into summer.
Planting Garden – It can be tricky getting the timing right for planting your garden in the Lake Placid region. Winters can extend longer than you expect with snow occasionally happening in May. It’s usually best to follow landscaping tips from seasoned Adirondack gardeners and wait to begin planting your garden by the end of May (Memorial Day). Plant after the last frost and when nighttime temps stay above 50 degrees. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, you may need to wait until the first week of June.
- Vegetable Garden- Growing vegetables in the Adirondacks can be tricky because of the short growing season. Plant cucumber, tomato, peppers, and zucchini plants in the spring. If you are interested in planting lettuces, arugula is your best option. You can also plant spinach, but be mindful that warmer weather can cause it to go to seed quickly.
- Flower Gardens – One of the most helpful Adirondack landscaping tips is to use all of your flower options: annuals, perennials and bulbs. Annuals are flowers that need to be planted each year. Pansies, snapdragon, marigold, hydrangea, and petunias are all annual flowers that are best planted in the spring.
- Perennials and Bulbs – Perennials are easy-care flowers/plants that come back every year. They include day lilies, hosta and lavender. Most of the Adirondack region is in Zones 3 & 4, so check that perennials are cold hardy before planting. Bulbs can take one or two seasons to flower, but will return every year. Dahlia, lilies and gladiolus are bulbs best planted in the spring.
Trees and Shrubs – If you plan on adding trees and shrubs to your property, spring is the best time to plant dogwood, oak, boxwood and rhododendron. Boxwood and rhododendron can be damaged over winter, so spring planting will give them time to build root systems and flourish during the warmer days ahead.
Landscaping Tips for Outdoor Living Spaces
Examine And Clean Up Decks, Patios – Once it looks like warmer weather is here to stay, it’s time to give some TLC to your decks and patios. Be sure to examine walking surface, overhead structures and railings of your decks & patios for any damage. If located near trees, branches broken off by wind or snow load may have caused damage that won’t be noticeable until the snow melts. Common repairs include replacing boards, cracked pavers or loose railings.
After repairing any discovered damage, move on to cleaning. For decks, clean any leaves, pine needles or loose debris that may have fallen off nearby trees or shrubs. Use your hose or power washer to spray off any leftover or stubborn debris. Use a hard brush or shop broom while you hose to help loosen any stuck material. If you have a patio, a power washer is usually the preferred tool for cleaning.
Prepare Outdoor Furniture – If your outdoor furniture has cloth or removable covers, now is a great time to run your covers through the washer. You also may want to hose off any sand or dust collected on your furniture over winter. Landscaping tips don’t always involve plants. Be sure to take care of your hardscape and furniture too.
Adirondack Landscaping Tips for Summer
If you’ve been on point with following our spring landscaping tips, you’ll be all set once summer rolls around. New grass is planted, the yard is level, and grass and other vegetation has started to grow. Now is the time to follow our landscaping tips to maintain and enjoy the spaces you worked so hard to prepare over spring.
Maintaining Your Yard – Depending on the weather, mowing and weed whacking could be a weekly chore. Warm summers with consistent rain will make this a weekly job. If it is a dryer summer, mowing will be more of a biweekly chore. Another periodic chore to add to your routine is cleaning debris. In windy weather, branches and other items may blow into the yard. These must be removed before you mow or weed whack.
Planting A Garden – As mentioned above, timing planting can be difficult in the Lake Placid region. Here are some landscaping tips to help you get the timing of your plants right.
- Vegetable Garden- Similar to spring, you can still put in cucumber, tomato, peppers, and zucchini plants in summer. You can also plant squash and French beans.
- Flower Gardens – Summer flower planting should focus on annuals, as bulbs and perennials need more time to build root systems. Annuals to look for include vinca, rudbeckia, dianthus, marigold, and sunflowers.
Enjoy Your Deck/Patio – You’ve put in the hard work to clean and maintain your outdoor spaces, so now is the time to enjoy. Invite friends and family over for a BBQ, a fire or just to enjoy nature from your deck or patio.
At Adirondack Premier Properties, we know that your landscaping and outdoor spaces are an extension of your home. Give them adequate time and attention during spring, and you’ll get big return on your investment. Nice looking and comfortable outdoor spaces can bring a lot of enjoyment as your family and friends gather in the sweet summer months. Put in the work early, and your spaces will be easy on the eye and a pleasure to be in… until the snow flies again. If you are looking for more Adirondack landscaping tips on how to make your property attractive for rental or sale, contact us today.