Goodbye, Old Man Winter and your blizzards.
Hello, spring and your tulips!
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) March 7, 2016
With temperatures and spring bulbs rising, we offer these eight tips/services to get your lawn and garden ready for spring:
Do you have insecticides, weed killers or other household hazardous waste you want to get rid of safely? We’ll take those corrosive, ignitable, toxic and reactive materials items for free at our I-66 and I-95 recycling locations.
Get rid of some of your lawn, and replace it with native plants, shrubs and trees. They often need less water, tolerate hot, dry summers, and offer food for wildlife.
How about planting some Photinia pyrifolia or Corylus Americana? In other words, how about planting some native seedlings that are appropriate for this part of Virginia? The Shrub and Small Tree Package features 10 seedlings for $16.95. The Tree Package includes 6 seedlings sold for $11.95. A full, nonrefundable payment must accompany your order by Wednesday, April 20, or until supplies run out.
If you think you need to fertilize your lawn, don’t—don’t fertilize in the spring if you have cool-season grass, like tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass. Most grasses in Northern Virginia are cool-season grasses.
Feeding your lawn at the wrong time of year can actually hurt your grass in the long run. Fertilizer runoff harms our creeks, streams and the Chesapeake Bay.
- Talk to a master gardener at one of the weekly plant clinics if you don’t know your grass type.
- Use corn gluten meal, instead of chemical weed killers.
- Consider using one of these state-certified, environmentally friendly landscape companies.
No, not the animal, but scammers looking to make a quick buck and damaging your trees. Woodchucks propose to do yard work, often for marked up prices and often without the proper skills and techniques of an arborist. Some woodchucks never return to do the work. Learn more about this pervasive, yet still growing scam in our community.
Applying a layer of organic mulch in spring will help maintain soil moisture and control weeds. Mulching also insulates soils keeping them warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
We operate a brush grinding operation, which produces double-shredded wood mulch for residents. The mulch is free, clean, and of good quality. Wood mulch is usually available at the I-95 and I-66 locations. Call 703-324-5995, TTY 711 to check on current supply.
A few guidelines for good mulching:
- Everything is better in moderation, even mulch. Apply a 2-4 inch mulch layer.
- If you don’t need it, don’t do it! Hardwood or bark mulches may not need replacing every year.
- Despite the appeal of those attractive mulch mountains, don’t pile mulch against tree trunks or plant stems. It can stress plants causing insect and disease problems.
- Weed and water your beds before mulching. This will decrease the chances of contaminating your mulch with weed seeds and encourage good moisture practices.
Yes, go to the library to get the best out of your lawn and garden. There are more than 1,300 “gardening” titles available to check out.
After a long day of lawn and garden work, chill out at one of our great parks or learn more at a place like Green Springs Garden. The Park Authority is now on Instagram, so show off the natural beauty you see in a county park by tagging your photos with #fairfaxparks.
With spring here, there are four key events to put on your calendars:
- Rain Barrel Workshops in April and May
- Weekly Neighborhood Plant Clinics Beginning in May: Get advice from Master Gardeners.
- Springfest April 30: Enjoy a whole day of family fun and environmental education.
- Farmers Markets Open May 4: Buy vegetable plants and flowers from local vendors.