GRAND RAPIDS — With a lot of people forced to stay home these days looking for things to do, one option is getting a head start on spring cleaning.
The landscape experts at Flowerland provide tips on the best plan for attacking the yard.
Rick Vuyst recommended first raking the turf to get rid of debris and leftover leaves from fall.
"Open up the turf so, as the sun shines, the Earth warms the soil temperatures into the 50 to 60 degree range," Vuyst explained. "That's when you're going to see the turf green up and really take off."
After that, comes the mulch. An inch or two is plenty.
When it comes to fertilizer, as long as there is no frost on the ground, it's OK to put some down. But, Vuyst said to hold off on the grass seed until the soil gets warmer, which is likely around mid April.
It's also recommended to prune plants and clear away foliage to encourage new growth. Aerating the lawn will also help allow the soil to breathe and take in nutrients.
Don't be surprised to find weeds already invading some flowerbeds. According to Vuyst, hairy bittercress is a winter annual weed. It germinates in the fall and blooms around springtime. People may notice these weeds as they have little white flowers growing everywhere.
As for how to distinguish between a plant and a weed, Vuyst said it comes with experience. In fact, it might not be a bad idea to brush up on lawn education during this time of isolation.