Spring began on March 20th this year, and soon it will be time to break out the yard tools and get your lawn and garden back in shape. Here are a few tasks you should make sure to take care of early in the season.
Check your tools
It may have been months since you used any of your gardening equipment, so inspect your tools to make sure nothing has rusted, rotted, or otherwise become damaged during the winter. It may be a worth giving your blades a once-over with WD-40 or another lubricant, like Hydrofarm Trim Fast. Dulled edges can be sharpened with this 10 Piece Dremmel Sharpening Kit. You definitely want to make sure your tools are in good shape, as dull or rusty tools take extra effort to use and are bad for your plants.
Make a preemptive strike against young weeds
New growth is just beginning, so now is a good time to pull weeds before they get any bigger (and tougher). If you wait till they're too established, you'll have a much harder time getting rid of them, but brand new weeds can often be pulled just with your thumb and forefinger. More stubborn weeds can require garden tools like this deluxe hand weeder, which is made to provide leverage for unearthing tough weeds.
Prune fruit trees
If you have fruit trees, you should prune them now. The best pruning is done when a tree is devoid of leaves, but it can be done any time before the buds bloom. If you wait too long, you can hurt the tree's ability to nourish itself by removing too many leaves, and expose the fruit to too much sun.
Prepare your drainage
Clean out your gutters and any other drainage to make sure you're ready for spring rains. Winter debris clogs them up, leading to poor water flow and even flooding, which can severely stunt burgeoning growth.
Revitalize your soil
It's a good idea to rake your entire yard to stir up the soil and get rid of dead plants. A leaf rake won't do this job; you'll want a good metal rake that can really cut into the soil, like this forged 16 tine rake. This process helps new grass to grow. If you need to put down grass seed, make sure you rake the soil thoroughly to aerate it first.
Plan your next steps
What are your plans for your lawn and garden this spring and summer? While you're doing these preparatory tasks, evaluate your yard and consider what you want to do next. Plan early, before it gets too hot, and before growth starts in earnest. If you get it all laid out now, you'll have a much easier time later in the year!