This is rather embarrassing to admit, but our lawn is a disaster. Some horrible fungus took over during the last two years, and when we had a lawn service come to tell us what they would have to do, he looked at me and said, “You need to start over!”  They can’t really just spray our lawn because if they killed off all the weeds, there would only be dirt. Yes, feel my pain.
Here’s few FREE tips from Ben Hamza, Ph.D, director of technical operations of TruGreen to prepare your yard for a healthy summer.

  1. Clean Area: Thoroughly clear dead leaves and debris from flower beds and lawn that may impede new spring growth.
  2. Prune: Conduct corrective pruning of trees and shrubs to enhance plant appearance and vigor, and thin rather than top-shear overgrown shrubs and trees to preserve their overall shape. Make sure not to prune trees and shrubs that bloom in early spring, with the exception of removing dead branches.
  3. Mulch: When your lawn is actively growing, return grass clippings back to the soil for added lawn nutrients and consider using composted materials to nourish plants. Apply three inches of organic mulch to base of shrubs and trees to help conserve soil moisture and to reduce weed pressure, but be mindful not to cover the flare of the tree base.
  4. Right Plant, Right Place: Plant the right type of grass for your lawn to ensure a green, healthy turf. Where grass has difficulty growing, plant shade-adapted ground covers for landscape appeal.
  5. Feed: Spring lawn, tree and shrub roots seek nourishment after the dormancy of winter. Keep fertilizer on target to prevent run-off and sweep fertilizer granules that may reach pavement back onto your lawn. Use a trained professional company, such as TruGreen, that offers customized solutions to lawn and landscape problems based on your region’s needs.
  6. Check Irrigation: Follow the owner’s operating manual to take an automated sprinkler system out of hibernation. Ensure sprinkler heads and related water lines are working properly. Give your lawn a slow, steady watering about once a week, but adjust depending upon rainfall, grass and soil type in your area. Also ensure the irrigation system covers your landscape efficiently. For example, you can place a one-inch deep food can in the middle of the lawn area to measure the depth of water collected after each watering cycle to ensure uniformity.
  7. Protect Against Elements: The beautiful blooms of spring are vulnerable to frost. With an expected cold snap, cover flowering plants before the sun goes down to maximize heat trapped by the plants. Create a tent of warmth with plastic tarps, cardboard, bed sheets or special plant frost protection blankets available at your local nursery or home improvement retailer.

Interested in creating a Outdoor Oasis? I bet you could with $25,000! TruGreen is celebrating real stories for creating your ideal outdoor living room by offering the TruGreen TruStories Sweepstakes through October 16, 2011. One Grand Prize winner will win a $25,000 MasterCard gift card, which would be perfect for creating your perfect outdoor space. There are other prizes too. See complete details
To get kids interested in the diverse plant world, TruGreen has collaborated with Memphis Botantical Garden to launch My Botanic Planet. This is a FREE (we love FREE) online educator resource to inspire elementary students interest in the plant world. Visit www.mybotanicplanet.comto access lessons in botany and related games & activities for your child.
How would you like to win a $125 TruGreen gift card?
One Balancing Beauty and Bedlam reader will win a gift card, which is good for approximately two TruGreen treatments for lawn, tree, and shrub care.

There are multiple ways to enter (up to 4 entries total on my giveaway), but only one entry is necessary.
* Be sure to enter a separate comment for each method of entry (one comment for Facebook, one comment for Twitter, etc.). You may leave up to four separate comments.
1. Comment – How is your lawn growing this summer?
2. Subscribe to my site by email or in a reader. (If you do already, thanks, just let me know in the comments.)
3. Follow me on Twitter,then tweet  the following message, Hi @beautyandbedlam is giving away a $125 Tru Green Gift Card
4. Friend my Balancing Beauty and Bedlam Facebook Fan page. (let me know in the comments.)
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I received a gift card to review, and one to giveaway. Entries for this giveaway will close on Monday, June 12 @ 3p EST. The winning entry will be selected via The winner will be contacted directly and must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected.