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Spring is prime time for lawn and garden renovations

Spring is prime time for lawn and garden renovations Niki Jabbour

I’ve got big plans for my spring landscape! For the past few years I’ve been concentrating on my large vegetable garden, but I’m now eager to tackle my backyard and rejuvenate the landscape.

My backyard is a large, flat space that receives full sun and is filled with a mixture of grass, white clover and, ahem, dandelions. I’ve been mulling over landscaping ideas the past few weeks, sketching out several options. In the end, I created a plan where the lawn would be re-shaped into a large oval and surrounded by wide garden beds planted with a mixture of small trees, shrubs, and perennials.

I’m hoping to break ground on this project in the coming weeks but spring is busy and I’ve set realistic goals for myself. I find it easier to break up a project like this into several stages.

First, I need to measure and mark out the oval that will become the new lawn area. Then, I’ll use my Troy-Bilt Super Bronco Rear Tine Tiller to break up the turfgrass in the space that will become ornamental garden beds.

Once the grass has been removed, I’ll add more soil and edge the beds with some of the many rocks I pull from my gardens. After the garden beds have been prepped, it’s time to add the plants.

When planning a new garden, think about how it will look in all four seasons. Choose plants with staggered blooming times for months of colour. Varied bloom periods also provide a non-stop supply of nectar and pollen for bees and butterflies.

While I haven’t yet finalized my plant list, I’m looking for trees, shrubs, and perennials that are low-care, drought tolerant, and easy-to-grow. Some of my favourites include serviceberry, lilacs, highbush blueberries, coneflowers, daylilies, perennial geraniums, and ornamental grasses.

I’m also considering removing all of the turfgrass in the backyard so that the oval lawn can be planted with fresh seed and be free of weeds. I would still want to plant a mixture of hardy turf and white clover (as the clover makes an excellent ground-cover), but I’d love to have fewer dandelions and other weeds mixed in the lawn.

Plus, mid to late spring is the perfect time to sow grass seed to establish a new lawn, thicken up an existing one, or fill in bare patches. Be sure to keep newly planted seed consistency moist to encourage high germination rates.

Once the lawn is looking lush, I’ll keep it tidy and trimmed with my Troy-Bilt Neighbourhood Rider, a ride on mower with a 30 inch cutting deck. It’s a compact, versatile mower with excellent maneuverability for cutting around garden beds, pathways and other landscape features.

Good quality lawn and garden tools make all the difference when working in the landscape. The neighbourhood rider combines the comfort of a standard sized ride-on lawn mower with the convenience and size of a walk-behind. It’s compact enough that I can easily store in my shed, but large enough to mow my lawn in a timely manner.

I’m excited to break ground on my new landscape and look forward to sharing more about my backyard transformation in coming articles.