Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, March 26, 2021

Outdoor areas move to top of list for April projects

With spring’s warmer weather and more daylight, you might be itching to get outdoors. Wondering what you should be doing now in your yard, flowerbeds and outdoor areas? Here’s a handy list to help.

Yard and landscaping

“Do not plant annuals until after April 15, as we always get one more cold snap before then,” warns HBAGC board member and Home and Lawn Care Services owner Marty Hilliard.

The Farmers’ Almanac reports Hilliard is right. It predicts our last frost this year will occur April 8. The almanac calculated this date using 1981-2010 climate norms.

To avoid pesky weeds later, Hilliard advises putting a preemergent or crab grass preventer on your lawn and ornamental beds now, as well as a thick layer of mulch on your flower beds. She also recommends following up with a weed-and-seed in six to eight weeks.

Now is also the time to do your pruning and cut back shrubs before they begin flushing.

No, we are not referring to the restroom. Flushing in shrubs refers to the point in a flowering cycle when a plant is in full bloom. The period when all blossoms of a plant are open is called a flowering flush.

If all this sounds exhausting, then perhaps you should consider hiring a professional landscaper.

Besides saving your back, why should you hire a professional? “Things that take a homeowner two weeks might take us a day,” Hilliard says. “And its helps the local economy, which is very important after COVID.”

However, do not expect to call now and get immediate service from a landscaping professional. Be patient if you’ve waited to the last minute, as most appointments are scheduled six to eight weeks out.

Hilliard recommends calling in January or February to get on their schedule.

Outdoor furniture

Now is also the time to clean up your outdoor furniture and get it ready for entertaining. Use a wire brush to clean the rust off your wrought iron furniture, then lightly sand it, spray it with a rust inhibitor and repaint it.

For teak, clean it using a special cleanser, allow it to dry and then apply teak oil if you want to maintain the natural color.

Window washing

April is a good time to clean your windows, too. Use a squeegee and wipe it off after each pass. If you’d rather hire a professional, prices can start from as little as $100 for a small home.

To find a reputable window cleaner, landscaper or any home services professional in the Chattanooga area, visit the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga’s membership directory at www.HBAGC.net.