Coping with Quarantine: Spring Maintenance Edition

For most people living in St. Louis, our daily routine is suddenly much different than it was just a few weeks ago. As the COVID-19 situation continues to escalate, so too do the precautionary measures necessary to prevent the spread of the virus. As a result, all St. Louis residents are presently under a stay-at-home order and have been instructed not to leave our homes except for essential tasks and errands. Not surprisingly, this mandate has very quickly led to a general, widespread sense of restlessness and boredom.

Luckily, health officials have determined that while it is crucial to practice social distancing, it is still perfectly safe to go outdoors as long as you maintain the recommended six-foot distance between yourself and others. You can go for a walk, ride your bike or maybe even do a little yard work. With April now upon us, this is the perfect time to begin preparing your lawn and landscaping for spring. Flora Design & Landscape has outlined seven simple maintenance tips to get your outdoor spaces looking their very best.

1. Inspect Trees and Shrubs

Start your spring clean-up efforts by picking up any debris and fallen branches from your yard. Do a thorough inspection of all trees and shrubs and remove any broken branches. As we all know, St. Louis winters can be rather brutal and, chances are, the wind has probably done some damage.

2. Control Weeds

Spring is the best time to deal with aggressive weeds. The longer you put off this task, the stronger the weeds will grow and the more difficult they will be to pull. Address invasive weeds now so that you don’t find yourself fighting them all season long.

You should also apply a pre-emergent herbicide to your lawn early in the spring to prevent the growth of crabgrass. Be sure not to wait too long to do this—once you can see weeds sprouting, it’s too late for a pre-emergent to be effective. Sometime before mid-April is generally a good time to apply pre-emergent to St. Louis lawns.

weeding lawns and plant beds

3. Seed Bare Patches, If you Must

The St. Louis winter tends to reveal areas of your lawn that have become damaged by pets, foot traffic and snow. For this reason, many people choose to reseed in the spring. However, it is important to remember that pre-emergent is nonselective and will deter regular grass seeds from growing in addition to crabgrass.

For this reason, if you decide that you must seed in the spring, try to do it as early as possible (March or April) before you apply pre-emergent for crabgrass control. This will give the grass seeds enough time to germinate and become somewhat established.

neatly cleaned plant beds

4. Tidy Planting Beds

Rake leaves and other debris from planting beds. Use an edge trimmer around the perimeter of the beds to create neat, tidy edges. To create added definition, use stones or rocks to create a decorative border. This will also help to keep soil and mulch in its proper place and prevent it from spilling out onto your grass and hardscape surfaces. Edging is especially important for landscaping in St. Louis pool areas, as it inhibits runoff into the pool itself.

5. Add Fresh Mulch

Add an inch-thick layer of mulch to planting beds and around trees. This is an extremely simple way to spruce up your landscaping after a long St. Louis winter, as a little bit of fresh mulch can go a long way to improve the neatness and overall appearance of planting areas. Mulch also helps soil to retain moisture and keep plant roots cool in the summertime.

6. Inspect Irrigation System

Once the weather has warmed up and there is no longer any threat of freezing temperatures, test your irrigation and sprinkler system and make sure that it’s working properly and doesn’t have any leaks. Also be sure to check your sprinkler heads, as they may become damaged by weather, lawn equipment or animals. 

7. Map Out New Additions

If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to begin thinking about what additions and improvements you would like to make to your St. Louis landscaping this year. Maybe you’ve noticed some bare areas that could benefit from adding some new plants. Perhaps this is the year that you’re finally ready to replace that old, worn-out patio. Whatever you’re thinking, pull out your notebook and start planning! Not sure where to start? If you need some assistance designing the perfect outdoor space, Flora is here to help! Let our team of professional landscape designers create something beautiful for you today!

clean and functional sprinkler head

We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone, not only here in St. Louis but around the world. We do not in any way mean to make light of this pandemic or the consequences that it has brought along with it. These suggestions are merely our way of trying to remain positive and to make the best of a bad situation. Of course, if you’re keeping busy in other ways or if yard work just isn’t your thing, Flora is still offering their spring clean-up maintenance package. To get more information or sign up for services, call (636)728-1520 or fill out our online contact form. Stay safe everyone!