Spring Cleanup! AJ Petitti tells you what your yard needs right now

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CLEVELAND, Oh -- This weekend's expected warm up will allow you to tackle many things that are needed to be done in your yard. From raking to pruning to fertilizing -- Fox 8's Scott Sabol got the rundown from AJ Petitti.

The Petitti team compiled these tips for you:

  • Start by looking at your beds and raking out all the leftover winter debris like twigs and leaves.
  • If you have perennials/grasses that you let stay tall over the winter (which is great for supporting birds), it’s time to cut them back and down now.
  • Seeing evidence of mole activity in your yard (lumps and tunnels)? Apply MoleMax before it rains, as it needs to be watered in very well in order to activate.
  • If you typically encounter unwanted insects with your trees & shrubs (i.e. Emerald Ash Borer, Vibernum Leaf Beetle, etc.), now is when you want to apply insect controls.
  • All evergreens and other acid-loving plants (i.e. azaleas, dogwoods, rhododendrons) should be fed now with Espoma Organic Holly-tone. It support growth, deeper green color, blooms, and it’s a long-lasting, slow-release feeder.
  • Deciduous and other plants should be fed now with Espoma Organic Plant-tone. It’s a great all-purpose fertilizer for trees & shrubs (not to mention flowers and vegetables a bit later in the season). Again, it promotes growth, green foliage, blooms, and it’s long lasting with slow release.
  • Stop weed seeds before they have a chance to germinate by applying Preen before the ground finishes waking up. You can also reapply later in the season when you begin planting and in the late summer/early fall, if needed. Prevention is key to weed control – stopping weeds before they have a chance to get hold.
  • As bulbs emerge from the ground with leaves, put down Plantskydd – especially if you have tulips – to prevent the deer from snacking on them. Then add liquid Deer Stopper or similar to layer on the protection.
  • Add instant, amazing color now with pansies & violas! They’ll brighten the yard immediately and will last well into May when you begin planning summer annuals.

AJ answered viewer Rosemarie's question: What is the difference between topsoil and potting soil and can you suggest a couple good easy-to-grow perennials for full sun?

AJ's Answer:  2 perennials that are very easy to grow & care for and do well in full sun…Yarrow and Daisies. Yarrow is deer-resistant, native, comes in several colors, and blooms continuously through the season. Daisies hold up well and also bloom for a long time. There are many other varieties that work, as well, including daylilies, echinacea, and more.

The difference between potting soil – Potting soil like Petitti Potting Soil is technically a “soilless” mix that contains peat moss, bark and other plant nutrients, is light in weight, and provides good drainage. It’s great for container planting and starting seeds. Topsoil is heavier soil from the earth. If you’re working with containers, do not use topsoil.

Do you have a question for AJ Petitti? You can submit questions here and AJ may answer it in one of his Dig This segments. To learn more about Petitti Garden Centers click here.

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