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Wake Up 2 Spring: Tips to help your yard be the envy of the block

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HOUSTON – All this week on KPRC2 News Today, we are helping you Wake Up 2 Spring.

It's time to take a look at your yard, brown ugly bare patches and all. With a little love and three easy steps, you can get it green and ready for spring.

The three steps:

Fertilizer
Add color
Plant correctly

Arborgate Nursery in Tomball is filled with color, but before you even think about taking anything home to plant, you have to get your yard and your beds ready. 

"Now's the time to feed. Not just the lawn, but feed everything.. flowers, the lawn, vegetables, herbs... deep root feed trees," said Randy Lemmon of the Gardenline on KTRH radio. "The more we feed in the months of April and May, the more it pulls everything up and uses it effectively. "

Lemmon recommends Nitro-Phos fertilizer for your turf. Just sprinkle it on now, again in the summer and then in the fall. You can print his schedule on his website. Hang it up somewhere you will remember it.

Lemmon said it's important to buy a fertilizer made for our area. 

"Keep it local," he said. "Use fertilizers that were manufactured for the Gulf Coast and designed for our soils. And don't go with national brands, but stick to the local brands or stick to organic brands."

Most yards need an inch to a half inch of water a week. Lemmon said the better your soil, the less you'll need to water it. 

When you're ready to add color, go bold, but be sure to read the care instructions. A lot of flowers that used to be shade-loving have been modified to now soak up the sun.

For example, impatiens was once a flower that couldn't take full sun, but a new variation called Sun Patients loves direct sunshine.

Lemmon sees the most common mistake people make is planting incorrectly.  

People buy their plant. Then they try to dig a hole in the existing soil and put said plant in there like a shotgun shell. There's no room for those roots to take off in clay soil. 

He said people have to amend their soil by adding in compost and organic soil, then building up beds before they plant flowers.

Make sure you don't use potting soil outside. Lemmon said it either stays wet too long or dries out, and doesn't give your plants the nutrients they need.

If you can get these first three steps right, you can enjoy the color for about eight months.

Lemmon said most everything now - if planted correctly, assuming the soil is correct and fed correctly - can last you until the first frost. 

Lemmon said don't wait to start. Now is the time to start the fertilization schedule, because there is about a 45-day window to get everything planted.

Doing that in this time period will help your plants and grass take root and take off before the heat of summer.