Yard Prep – What Atlantans should be doing now to prepare their yard for spring and summer
Yard Prep. “It’s February. What should most Atlantans be doing right now to prepare for a great spring and summer in their yards?”
JACKIE PAULSEN, Belgard Hardscapes
Dreaming is the first step toward doing! February is a great time to start dreaming about a backyard renovation project.
Living in Atlanta, we are fortunately able to enjoy much more time outdoors than many other parts of the country. No matter the size of your backyard, getting started can seem a bit intimidating. At this first stage, don’t get too bogged down in the details.
Simply take a deep breath and take some time to truly dream about what you want. Perhaps it’s a patio for entertaining or an outdoor kitchen to expand your culinary repertoire. Once you have your dream, then you can begin to break it down into a tangible plan.
SCOTT CHATHAM, Chatham Landscape
Prune! Prune woody ornamentals (crepe myrtles, hydrangeas, and burning bush among others) while they’re dormant. Prune heavily to structure, shape and reduce the size of established ornamentals; prune lightly if you want them larger but still wish to increase bloom yield. Prune back grassy ground covers, specifically liriope. (Do not prune mondo grass until late spring.)
Apply pre-emergent weed control to planting beds.
Mulch! Fresh pine straw dresses your landscape, sharpens lines, retains moisture and creates a consistent temperature for plants.
Plant trees. There’s still time before their sap flows.
Complete landscape plans. Discuss your plan with a designer for a spring planting.
MATT KNIPFER, CTI of Georgia
If you have a pool in your backyard (and the pool deck requires refurbishing or a color touchup and re-sealing) now is the time to have it inspected and the project scheduled.
Is the current surface delaminating or cracked? Is the color fading? The options for revitalizing your pool deck are almost limitless.
Patterns and colors can be incorporated with existing landscaping and home surrounds, providing a bright and fresh look for many years to come.
Folks tend to wait until the cold weather breaks and spring is in the air before making decision on their pool deck repair and often times schedules are set. The earlier people decide what their pool deck requires, the earlier the project can be completed…and pool fun can begin!
SHANE LEBLANC, Selective Designs
It’s now the perfect time to start the planning and design process for your pool and outdoor living space in preparation for the spring and summer time.
Taking into account the property as a whole and incorporating a pool and outdoor living space that complements the existing structure will lead to a higher return on investment. Having a professional design will allow you to get price comparisons on the work to be performed.
The worst time to start planning and building your pool project is when the warm weather arrives. Pricing and demand tend to rise in the spring and summer months. So now is the time to start designing and planning your project to lock in pricing and have it built before swim season arrives.
HOLLY BROOKS, King Landscape
February is a great time to pressure wash decks, arbors, patios, outdoor steps and outdoor furniture. Reapply sealers and stains once washing is complete.
Check your outdoor appliances, clean them, replace grill burners and touch up paint if necessary.
Inspect crawl space vents, air intake on your AC units, and basement window wells to make sure they are free of leaves and excess mulch.
Finally, ensure your roof gutters are clean and your downspouts are working properly, inspect and clean out catch basins and in-ground drains; all of these systems work together to keep water away from your foundation and are usually tied together.
Photos courtesy of (top to bottom) Jackie Paulsen; Chatham Landscape Services, photography by Chris Voith Photography; CTI of Georgia; Digital Memories by Christy, photography by Christy Epperson; Holly Brooks