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Spring Fling

Tips for a Greener Landscape

Photograph: Stacy Bass

The flower beds that have lain unmade all winter are waking up and calling your name. So is the lawn. With spring in the wings, now is the time to put on the gardening gloves, break out the spade and spreader, and get busy outside. What’s the best way to rejuvenate beds, borders and lawns? We asked two pros at Geiger’s Landscape: Michael Worobec, creative director and senior designer; and Michael Tanuis, a horticulturist and arborist at Geiger’s new location on Frogtown Road in New Canaan. Here are their tips.

1. Edged Borders

Nothing is as simple or satisfying as a sharp edge to define a border or bed. “The first thing we do whenever we go to a property to spruce it up is to edge or re-edge to make a clean cut from the lawn,” says Tanuis, who suggests using a spade or sharpened edger for the job. He also recommends a fresh layer of mulch to keep weeds down and give beds
and islands a fresh look.

2. Early Annuals

Before perennials begin to leaf out or bloom, beds and borders can be brightened—even in earliest spring—with hardy annuals like pansies and snapdragons. What works, says Worobec, is “anything that flowers that you can find and buy now.” Annuals are also used to fill in areas, before perennials planted last year reach their desired height.

3. Food for Thought

Fertilize plants early in the season to get them off to a strong start. “This is the food that will cause them to come up quickly and robustly,” Tanuis says. He recommends feeding perennials under the mulch. The lawn should be given a first layer of fertilizer in early to mid-April, along with a crabgrass preventer to help keep it lush and green well into summer.