CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) — Memorial Day is not only the unofficial start of the grilling season, it is also the time that vegetable gardens need to be planted and lawns need attention. AJ Petitti, President of Petitti Garden Centers, shares his ‘to-do list’ to get our lawns and gardens off to a good start for summer.

Tips from the Petitti team:
Planting the garden

  • Amend your soil with composted organic matter and nutrients before planting. It’s the single most important thing you can do to give your plants a strong start and to sustain them for the season.
  • Install a layer of weed barrier and simply poke holes through it where you want to plant. Weed barrier goes a long way to prevent new, problematic weeds from taking hold during the season.
  • Space your plants according to their expected size at maturity. Don’t be fooled by how small they look at the time of planting. If you plant too close when they’re small, they’ll become overcrowded as they grow, and overcrowding leads to disease and pest issues.

Lawn & Garden

  • Apply your Step® 2  lawn food & weed preventer or Weed & Feed product of choice, making sure to do so early in the morning when there is still dew on the grass. That way, the weed control element will stick to the grass blades and be more effective. Remember to apply on a day where there is no rain in the forecast, so the herbicide has time to work and won’t get washed away.
  • Use Weed Beater® Ultra to address clover, ground ivy, and other weed issues in the lawn. It will target and kill a wide variety of weeds, but it won’t harm the grass.
  • When planting, be sure to include Bio-tone® at the bottom of the hole you’re digging or at the base of the root ball when you set the plant. It’s a starter fertilizer that encourages root development so plants can establish more quickly.
  • When mulching this season, apply a layer no more than 1.5-2 inches thick, and be sure to keep mulch away from the base of plants and trees. Piling mulch around the neck of a plant effectively suffocates and inhibits the plant’s long-term success.
  • When watering, it’s always best to water in the morning. Plants are less stressed in the morning and able to take up water best at that time. Watering in the evening creates conditions for disease.