5 Smart Steps to a Prettier Yard

Even when winter winds are howling, your garden and yard are evolving. Here, Cary Magazine Garden Adventurer L.A. Jackson says the things you do outdoors this month will make a beautiful difference all through 2014. 

Here’s a 5-point sampling of Jackson’s suggestions:

  1. Test your soil. “The more you know about your garden’s ground now, the better you will be able to tend to your plants’ needs during the growing seasons,” he says.
  2. Protect your grass. “Be vigilant about keeping fallen tree leaves off the lawn to prevent them from becoming matted down and suffocating new or established grass,” Jackson suggests.
  3. Save a tree. If you’re using wire to keep a new planting straight, slip a piece of old hose onto the line where it comes into contact with the tree, to prevent the wire from cutting into the bark.
  4. Think seeds. “It is certainly not too early to begin buying seeds from garden catalogs and online sites,” Jackson says, “in order to have young sprouts ready for the spring growing season!” Consider disease and insect-resistant varieties, along with drought-tolerant.
  5. Escape the blight. “Rake up any spent flowers that have fallen underneath the bush to help discourage camellia petal blight, a disease that can give your pristine blossoms a serious case of the uglies,” he noted.

Read more from Jackson, including how to treat African violet troubles, at carymagazine.com/home-garden/african-violets-101.

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