Right now conditions are still early for mowing and preparing lawns and gardens, but spring could arrive early as witnessed by this weeks upper 70 degree temperatures. Time to start prepping and planning.
It all begins with a soil test. Midwest Laboratories offers a Lawn and Garden Test. If you take samples from different areas of your lawn, you will get a good idea of the soil nutrients that make up your lawn and this information will help you select the appropriate fertilizer at your local nursery or retail store.
Check for signs of snow mold or rough spots due to sand and salt. Most of the time these areas appear in the yard between the sidewalk and the street.
Check out prices on pre-emergent fertilizers. You will want to purchase a good pre-emergent fertilizer to help combat the early onslaught of crabgrass.
If you have some reallydry spots, consider buying some slabs of sod. Typically spring rains and temperatures are ideal growing conditions and sod can really grow at a fast rate if put in place in late March or early April.
Consider buying some mulch or rock for your landscape areas. Keeping the soil warm and moist is always a good thing for an all-around better defense against warmer temperatures and dry conditions.
Finally, check the soil temperatures in your area. <Soil Temperature Map> This map is indicating warmer soil temperatures in some areas. This certainly indicates that spring may be a little earlier than usual.