As the calendar flips to 2021, we pause to reflect on the past and make plans for the new year ahead. Now is a great time to do the same thing in our yards — to stop and look at what we have accomplished and contemplate what we would like to add or change in the coming year.
Here are a few ideas to help jumpstart your plan for the ultimate lawn.
With the leaves off the deciduous trees and bushes, and many plants hibernating underground, winter allows you to see your yard’s structure clearly. Take a long look at the hardscapes and landscaping, and think about what you need to take your outdoor living to the next level.
Does your yard function well for you and your family, or do you wish for more time outside? Maybe you long for a designated area to play games or a permanent gathering space with a firepit? Is there a secluded spot, just waiting for a bench to enjoy a view of the flower garden?
Walk the yard and look around. Is there a pleasing mix of green space and plantings of shrubs and flowers? Perhaps you already have all the elements you want, but you need pathways to encourage people to move throughout the yard.
If you have areas where the grass and flowers struggle due to an overabundance of shade, winter is the time to open up the canopy and let in more sunlight. Most homeowners hire professionals to prune trees, but it’s good to educate yourself so you can discuss your lawn’s needs knowledgeably.
Pruning is also important for the overall health and strength of your trees and shrubs. Cut out any diseased material, and remove branches that grow at odd angles to encourage more symmetrical growth. Be sure to wait until after blooming to prune your flowering bushes and trees, however.
Put your kitchen and lawn scraps to work by creating a compost pile. You’ll help divert waste from landfills while making your lawn and garden happy and healthy. If you start now, you’ll have finished compost to top dress your lawn or improve your garden soil by spring.
To start a compost pile, simply layer vegetable and fruit scraps, eggshells and coffee grounds with dry leaves and non-woody clippings from your yard. If you don’t have enough yard clippings, you can even use shredded newspapers. Keep the pile slightly moist and turn with a shovel once or twice a month to aerate. In two to four months, you’ll have a nutrient dense compost to feed your grass, garden, shrubs and trees.
Hire a Service
If you are in the market to hire a lawn service for the first time, or you’re ready to switch services, winter is a good time to interview companies and get onto the schedule for spring. Make a list of the work you want done and make sure each company offers the full range of services you need.
To narrow down options, start by asking friends and neighbors for referrals. Be sure to ask potential service providers about their experience and certifications. And don’t sign a contract until you are clear about expectations. A trial period gives you a chance to evaluate their work before you lock into an agreement.
Spring is the optimal time to lay sod, but in our area, you can lay a new lawn any time of year, even in winter. Research options for the best grass variety for your yard’s conditions, taking into account the soil type, the amount of sun and shade, summer heat or winter cold, foot traffic and other conditions.
Purchasing premium sod from a trusted supplier will help ensure optimum quality and performance, especially important when laying grass in winter.
If you have questions about choosing the right grass for your lawn or laying new sod this winter, give our Certified Turfgrass Professionals a call at 770.832.8608 or email at info@NGTurf.com. And be sure to ask about our spring green-up guarantee.