New Jersey Home Landscaping Steps

New Jersey has survived another winter, and before you know it, the heat of the summer will be on us. Right now, while we’re feeling the mild temperatures of spring, is the perfect time to start preparing your yard for the summer months that will be here before you know it. If you’re not sure how to begin preparing your yard for the summer, read below for some helpful tips.

© vitalliy - Fotolia.comSoil test

The first step in preparing the lawn for the summer is to perform a soil test. This test is simple to perform. Just squeeze a handful of soil. If it seeps water or balls up, the soil is too moist to work with yet. If it is dry and crumbly, it is ready to till.


The transition from spring to summer is the perfect time of year for aerating the lawn. Aerating the lawn promotes the healthy formation of roots, so it is an important step for maintaining a healthy and thriving lawn. The aeration process allows both water and nutrients to efficiently reach the root system of the lawn. Aerating should be done at least once a year, but high-traffic areas might require additional treatments.


Often lawns are neglected during the cold months so chances are that the lawn will need a good and thorough raking in the spring. Raking will remove the excess thatch that has grown there. Thatch needs to be removed because it consists of decaying plant material that can deter healthy grass growth. After a long winter, there are likely various branches, leaves and other materials covering the lawn that can hinder grass growth. Removing these items will allow the sun and fresh air to reach the grass, which will promote healthy growth during the summer months.


Since spring is a prime time for grass to grow, it is imperative that it gets a sufficient amount of water. Optimally, watering should be done in a manner that promotes deep root growth. Aim for a deep soak of about one inch one time per week rather than daily sprinkles that promote shallow root growth.

Make a landscape plan

Before beginning a landscape design, map it out on paper first. Having an action plan will help to ensure there is room for everything. Remember to allow room for the future growth of new plants and shrubs that are planted. A qualified landscape company can help you with this process.

Eliminate weeds

Take time to eliminate weeds in the spring. Make sure you remove the entire weed, including the root. Doing so will help to inhibit regrowth in the future.

Prune shrubbery

Now is the time to take a shears and prune back shrubs and trees. Remove any dead branches and leaves and keep only the buds that are living and able to thrive. Not only will the shrubs look better, this action will promote healthy growth throughout the summer.


Lay down about three inches of mulch around any newly planted trees and shrubs. The presence of mulch will reduce the appearance of weeds, control temperature fluctuation of the soil, prevent damage, and provide an overall look of attractiveness. Mulching will also help keep the soil moist, which will ultimately promote the health of the shrubbery.

Prepare planting beds

Spring is the perfect time to prepare planting beds and flower gardens in anticipation of summer. When preparing a garden area, be sure it is free of weeds. Also, lay down some compost to promote healthy flowers. Till the ground adequately before planting flowers or seeds. The late spring is the best time to plant annuals and delicate perennials, as the last frost of the season will have passed by that time.

Rid the area of pests

The warm weather traditionally brings with it living creatures that are harmful to landscaping. Use the late spring months to take some preventative measures to keep these pests at bay. Install some rabbit or deer-proof fencing to keep these cute yet destructive animals out of the landscaped area. If you can’t find this type of fencing, opt for plants that naturally detract these animals.

Complete the look

Once the yard and flowers are taken care of, it’s time to complete the look by adding some accent pieces. Install an attractive fountain or stone statuary as a focal point in the landscape. Another option is to install a wooden pergola. If lack of space is a hindrance, consider adding a trellis for vines and ivy to grow upward.

Now that the temperatures are climbing in New Jersey, it is time to dust off the garden tools and get to work. Taking the time to prepare the landscaping now will ensure that you will have a beautifully landscaped yard all summer long.

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