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Get Your Yard Ready for Summer

If you’re getting ready for a great summer spent enjoying your backyard, be sure to follow this to-do list from to help ensure a vibrant, healthy yard all season long:

1. Inspect trees and shrubs. Take a careful look around your yard to identify any broken branches. Prune as necessary and call in a professional when needed.

2. Test your soil. Every few years, you should have your soil tested to make sure it has the proper pH balance and mix of nutrients. Ask your landscape professional or local lawn and garden center where you can get this done in your area.

3. Fertilize your lawn. The results of your soil test will help determine if and how to fertilize your lawn; for example, if your test shows that your soil needs nutrients, be sure your fertilizer includes them. Make sure you’re fertilizing your lawn at the optimal time; while some grass requires fertilizer in the spring, other varieties benefit from June of fall fertilization. Slow or controlled-release fertilizers are usually the best option.

4. Fertilize trees and shrubs. A slow-release fertilizer applied just before mulching is the best option for trees and shrubs.

5. Add a layer of fresh mulch. Place one inch of mulch in plant beds and around trees, making sure not to let the mulch touch the tree trunk, or get deeper than three inches. While mulch works wonders for making your yard look neat, it also helps retain moisture for plants, keeps roots cool in summer and insulates them in winter. As it decomposes, it adds important organic matter to soil as well.

6. Inspect your sprinklers. If you have an irrigation system, be sure to turn it on and test it. If any sprinkler heads need to be replaced or repaired, take care of it before the weather gets too hot.

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