Garden Tips: Getting Your Yard Ready for Spring

The weather has finally turned and that means not only can you enjoy the outdoors, it’s time to get your yard ready for spring planting and backyard barbecue season. Here are three projects to tackle this weekend:

1. Prune roses

Prune your roses before new growth emerges, to shape the plant and encourage new growth that can produce lots of buds. Here are instructions that will keep you in bloom.

2. Divide perennials

Plants like irises and hostas can spread like wildflower, but they are healthier when they have space. Anything that’s grown to be two to three times its size needs to be dug up and divided. Here’s what you need to know.

3. Get a handle on weeds

Weeds can make all of your hard work in the garden look messy. Pull weeds when they’re small to avoid having them go to seed, creating more weeds. A good layer of mulch will also help. Experts say a two-inch spread will hold moisture and discourage weeds.

Garden Tips: What to Plant and When

 

It’s time to add color and depth to your yard. If you’re headed out to your local nursery, here are plants that are ready to take root:

Trees and shrubs

The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a mild and dry spring for Midwest planting, and trees and shrubs love cool conditions. Make sure you give them plenty of water for the first few weeks to keep them healthy and happy.

Annuals

Add quick color with annuals. Plant them in beds or containers on your porch and patio for instant beauty.

Perennials

Perennials are great because they come back year after year, lessening your workload. Here are 12 that do well in the Midwest, according to Midwest Living magazine: Coneflowers, butterfly weed, Lenten rose, Virginia bluebells, hardy geraniums, black-eyed Susans, allium, panicle hydrangeas, sedums, Russian sage, goldenrod, and aromatic aster.

Spring Cleaning Tips

You’re probably ready for spring – but is your home? Spring cleaning wakes up your rooms and get them ready to shine in the sun. Here are three tasks to put on your to-do list this week:

1. Dust your drapes

Window treatments can collect lots of dirt and dust from the air. Put them in your dryer with a wet towel, and turn on the air-fluff cycle for 15 minutes. Hang them back in the windows immediately.

2. Clean your ceiling fan

This, too, can collect lots of dust on the blades. Using your favorite furniture polish, wipe them down and lightly buff.

3. Air out your linens

If you have a backyard clothesline, shake then out and let them hang in the sun for a few hours. Sunlight is a natural germ killer.

Spring Cleaning Tips

Are you ready for spring? This is the time of year to open the windows, dust away winter and get your home spic and span. Here are three tasks to put on your to-do list to prepare your home for summer fun.

1. Clean your refrigerator

Remove the shelves and drawers, and wipe away spilled food. An eco-friendly cleaner is a combination of salt and soda water, according to HGTV. The bubbling action of the soda water combines with the abrasive texture of the salt to make a great cleaner.

2. Get rid of lime deposits

They can build up around your faucets and your refrigerator water dispenser. Place a paper towel over the area and soak with vinegar. Then let sit for an hour. The deposits will become soft and easy to remove.

3. Clean screens your screens

HGTV suggests using a scrap of carpeting, which acts like a soft brush, removing dirt.

3 Tips For Prepping Your Outdoor Furnishings

 

March is the time when Midwesterners daydreaming about Spring and all of the outside activities it brings. If you brought your aluminum or wrought iron outdoor furnishings inside for the winter, it’s take time to get them ready for their seasonal debut. Here are three things to do to be ready for the sunshine:

Step One: Clean

Wash and rinse aluminum frames with mild liquid detergent and warm water. This will remove any surface dirt left from last season.

Step Two: Protect

Apply a coat of automobile wax to aluminum frames with smooth finishes to help extend their life. For textured finishes, you can periodically apply mineral or baby oil.

Step Three: Check for Damage

To keep rust away, check your furnishings for chips and scratches. This is the most common cause of rust because it exposes the bare metal to the elements. Touch up any chips or scratches by first gently sanding the area with fine steel wool, then applying a primer and paint. Follow up with a topcoat of wax or clear sealer for added protection.