By Jim Donovan

By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Today is Earth Day, and if you’re looking to do something green, you may not have to look any further than your lawn and garden.  With the long winter finally behind us — at least officially — it’s the perfect time to get ready for warm weather. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan has some advice.

Spring is finally starting to — well — spring, in many parts of the country.   To get the outside of your home ready for the warmer weather start by inspecting for damages to trees and bushes, even patches of the lawn, left by heavy winter snow.

Josh Kane of Planet, the national landscape industry association says the next thing to do, is to get ahead of weeds.  According to Kane, “The best thing to do is get down that weed control now because with the temperatures blooming, the forsythias are blooming and that’s the time when the weeds start to germinate.”

Mulch helps plants retain moisture, and will keep roots cool in the summer. Kane says, “You don’t want to pile the mulch on the trees, just around them to help retain moisture and a little bit of weed suppression.  The goal is a nice thin layer usually only an inch to two thick, and just trying to spead it evenly and nicely to give a fresh look to the yard.”

Make sure plant beds are free of leaves and other debris and prune branches on perennials like rose bushes.  Also, get new plants and put them in good soil.  Kane says, “Once you take it out of the pot you want to spread the roots out a little bit so it lets the roots grow quickly, and not stay in that same sort of pot shape that they tend to be as you can see there.”

It’s also a good time to tune up irrigation systems and outdoor lighting ahead of the warmer months.

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