by Lou Manfredini, Ace’s Home Expert

If your lawn, landscape, or garden beds aren’t thriving, you want to get to the root of the problems and cover all the basics – healthy soil, pest control, pruning, and irrigation. Sometimes, it could be small problems that you can take care of yourself. However, if you constantly having problems like squirrels and other rodents invading your garden and eating up everything that you plant, you might want to require assistance from Squirrel Removal experts or similar professionals to take care of the problem.

Also, keep in mind, plant and soil requirements vary in different regions of the country – even in different areas of your yard. So I always suggest that you contact your local county co-operative extension agency or neighborhood Ace hardware store for recommendations on the appropriate grasses, fertilizers, pest and disease controls. Additionally, if you need professional service for pest control, for instance, you can also consult a company near your location that provides exterminators for both, house exterior and interior.

In addition, here are a few general tips to help you get more growth in your yard:

Test the Soil

Pick up a kit to test the soil pH level. This easy, but usually overlooked step will reveal what your soil needs. Without knowing if your soil is alkaline or acidic, you could inadvertently apply the wrong combinations of nutrients,amendments or plant something in the wrong spot.

Cultivate Soil

Heavily compacted soil prevents roots from spreading. Plants prefer well-drained, loamy soil. Add compost to flower, shrub and vegetable beds and turn over or till the soil to break it up. Don’t cultivate soil when it is wet. That will compact it even more and disturb beneficial microorganisms. Rent an aerator to loosen soil on a compacted lawn.

Fertilize Properly

Never use a single type of fertilizer universally. Lawns, shrubs, trees, flowers and vegetables each have specific nutrient requirements. Soil conditions (based on testing) also dictate specific needs. Also, fertilizing at the wrong time, too little or too frequently will have a negative result.

Control Pests and Diseases

Using pesticides improperly can be harmful to plants, pets, and humans. Controls are formulated for specific purposes and should be used only as recommended on the product’s label. As a first step, determine what pests or diseases your plants have by bringing samples to your extension service or the garden center manager at your local Ace. If need be, you can also reach out to your local pest control experts whom you can contact through their websites like and similar ones.


Plants are like people when it comes to water. Too little and they dehydrate; too much and they drown. As a general rule, most plants prefer water at their “feet,” not on their “heads.” So, water at soil level, not by overhead spraying an entire bed. It is important to know when to water. You can use a moisture meter, by pushing the prong into the soil to various depths around a plant.


Covering a soil bed with mulch will retain moisture and keep plant roots cooler. And organic mulch helps maintain better soil conditioning. Three to 6 inches covering the soil will help protect plants from drought and help cut down on watering. Just make sure you don’t pile it up against tree trunks or plant stems. This can lead to rotting.

Prune Selectively

Some plants prefer pruning in early spring, while others can be trimmed during summer or fall. Generally, anything that flowers in the spring should be pruned after flowers die off. There are exceptions, however, so do a little research to prune correctly for the shrubs and trees in your yard. Check for any dead plants or trees in your yard. Consider contacting a service provider of similar caliber to Greensboro tree cutting professionals who can help you remove any dead or nearly dead trees before they start sucking in nutrients from your live plants. This way, you maintain the integrity of your yard and help your plants grow.

Check Soil Temperatures Before Planting

Interestingly, horticulturists have found that how well plants adapt to transplanting or seeding depends upon the temperature of the soil at the time of planting. In some cases, plantings before the last frost do well; in other cases the soil must be at a consistent temperature (say 55 F) for a period of time to achieve maximum results.

See More Tips & Advice At Ace Hardware Advice Page

2 Comments » for Tips For A Healthy, Lush Landscape
  1. Michael Savino says:

    what can I treat the lawn with now to fertilize and control pests like grubs??

    • Weaver's Ace Hardware says:

      If you are looking to prevent grubs, there is a product called BioAdvanced Insect Control. It will control grubs all season long plus it has turf revitalizer. We have a bag that covers 5,000 SF. If you already have grubs, you will need to treat with a grub killer and then treat with a lawn fertilizer separately. Our lawn and garden team offers this tip too- be sure it is in fact grubs as there has been a lot of lawn fungus in our area with all the wet weather. If you take a clump of grass and pull it up and the roots and all come up, then it is grubs. If not, it is most likely a lawn fungus which can be treated with a lawn fungicide.

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