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Get Your Yard Ready for Spring in the South

Get Your Yard Ready for Spring in the South

Having a lush Southern lawn and growing garden during the spring requires fighting cabin fever during late winter. Follow these tips to prepare grass, flowers, vegetables, trees and shrubs to thrive when the weather warms.

compost binClean up

Clear fallen branches, stems and leaves from garden plots and flower beds. Use a rake and, to prevent packing down the dirt too much, avoid walking on wet soil. Place collected organic debris in a compost bin. It takes very little time to clean up your plots in spring. Here’s how.

Put down compost

Add the nutrients plants need for healthy growth to your garden and flower beds by working compost or manure into moist, but not soggy, soil. Follow this simple plan for Putting Down Compost in Your Garden and Flowerbeds.

Old Castle  2 cu. ft. Hardwood Mulch Mulch

Even out mulch around the bases of established trees and shrubs. Leaf mold, pine bark, peat moss, worm castings, compost and shredded hardwood mulch all slow soil compaction, prevent weed growth and keep soil temperatures constant, which encourages growth during early spring. Here’s how to Pick the Right Mulch for the Job.


Spreading all-purpose fertilizer judiciously during the early spring can foster prolific growth throughout later weeks and months. Apply lime to acidic soil if you did not do so in the fall. Use a fertilizer spreader to ensure equal application, then till or hoe the fertilizer into the soil. Here are some tips for Applying the Right Amount of Fertilizer.

Prune perennials and shrubs

Most perennials and shrubs can be safely pruned or culled once frost is no longer a danger. Lavender, buddleia and Artemisia, in particular, need cutting back in late winter or early spring because their blooms form only on newly grown branches. For herbaceous perennials like hostas that die back to the ground during the winter, removing old growth at the base becomes safe when temperatures remain consistently above freezing. Here’s a step-by-step plan to know which Perennial Plants to Cut Back in Spring and how to do it.

Start your vegetables indoors

Favorites like tomatoes, eggplants and peppers need between 5 and 10 weeks to grow from seeds started in indoor planters into plants that can survive and produce in your backyard vegetable garden. Fill your planting pots and trays with seed-starting mix and keep the seedlings near sunny windows or under grow lights. Find out how to Start Planting Your Seeds with an Indoor Garden.

Plant bulbs

Put in bulbs that open during the late spring and summer, such as gladioli, amarylles, cannas and dahlias. Late winter or early spring is also a good time to start tuberous begonias in pots. Take these Three Easy Steps to Plant Summer Flowering Bulbs.

Carry out scheduled lawn care

Once your lawn breaks dormancy and begins to green up, apply fertilizer and a preemergent herbicide, which stops weed seeds from germinating. Start mowing a week or two after active growth resumes. To ensure healthy summer growing, do a dethatching in mid-spring. Here’s a step-by-step plan to Care for Your Lawn in Spring.


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