Nature might still be in denial in some parts of the
country, but spring is officially here ó and that
means itís time for homeowners to take stock of the
outside of their property to ensure itís safe,
well-cared-for and ready for the warmer summer months
the top of the list for many homeowners is lawn care.
With many parts of the country experiencing severe
drought conditions the past few summers, how homeowners
care for their lawns this spring is integral to how theyíll
handle the months ahead.
seeing lawns that are needing to be reseeded due to the
past summersí droughts," said Dyer Barker of Home
Rangers Landscaping and Lawn Care in Lexington,
recommends seeding the lawn now, adding a starter
fertilizer and allowing the grass to grow long enough
ó about 3 inches ó to cut it twice before applying
weed and crabgrass control. Homeowners donít want to
mow more than 1/3 of the grassís length at one time,
though, Barker cautioned.
can dry the grass out and stress the grass when you cut
off more than a third of it," Barker said.
many lawn care companies try to sign customers up on a
long-term contract, Barker said itís not necessary
unless itís a big job.
are difficult to get out of, if you donít like the
company that was working for you," Barker said.
"Weíre a company that works on a cut-by-cut
basis. Weíll work for you as long as youíre happy
with us doing the work. A contract is not necessary to
have your lawn mowed."
is also a good time to mulch flowerbeds with 3 inches of
mulch, Barker said.
will help the ground retain the moisture," Barker
said. "As springtime comes in, the plants that need
to come up will actually come out up through the mulch.
Then, youíre not having to mulch around that or have
bare spots in the mulch when the plants die or it comes
fall time and they get cut back. Youíll already have
mulch in those areas. During those drier times, the
plants are still getting moisture as opposed to drying
out very quickly."
control is another spring task homeowners need to
consider. Hiring a pest control company now to address
outdoor insects can prevent them from coming into the
house later. Be sure the pest control company you hire
is licensed and insured. Many pest control companies
also offer eco-friendly treatment options, if thatís a
concern. Ask the representative about their methods if
green treatment is important to you.
springtime project homeowners should have done is an
inspection and cleaning of their gutters. Spring is a
great time of year to ensure gutters are free of fall
leaves and debris that might have collected over the
winter. Gutters that fill with debris can quickly
overflow with water, which could lead to expensive
external and internal water damage.
donít want to run into your gutters overflowing to
where it might cause a rotten (fascia or soffit)
board," said Greg Hardy of Gregís Gutter Service,
located in the Triad of North Carolina. "If you let
it go too long, you can really get into some problems
with water damage. It can mess up a lot of
recommends homeowners ó primarily those with a lot of
trees on their property ó talk to their gutter
professional about installing a leaf protection
you donít put something like that on there to really
keep the gutters clean, especially in the fall, you
about have to clean them out once a week to really let
the gutters flow the way they should. Most cleanouts run
between $85 and $100. If you put some leaf protection on
there, it will pay for itself in no time. You want to go
with something thatís cost-effective, though. You can
get some leaf guards that cost $3,000 to put on. Between
$15 and $25 a foot is not cost effective. I charge
around $5 a foot for it, depending on the size of the
Hicks is the founder of Angieís List, the nationís
most trusted resource for local consumer reviews