Warm weather means it's time to tidy up the lawn and garden after a dreadful winter. Perhaps there's bark eaten off your favorite shrubs or trees. Or you may be wondering about those marks across your lawn. Right now, homeowners across the Chicago area are facing the fallout from rabbits, mice, voles and more that survived winter by eating your lawn roots and shrub and tree bark.
Bob Bertog, president of Bertog Landscape Company and affectionately called "The Lawn Ranger" by his team, offers the following professional tips to bring back the beauty around the yard.
• After a heavy, prolonged snow cover like we had earlier in the year, there are a few important things to look for when surveying your property for winter damage. Green lawns are important, but there are telltale signs it's been a long winter. Look for root damage, animal damage or even fungus damage.
Damage from critters can kill trees and shrubs like dogwoods and lilacs. Now is the time to check closely, especially if you tend to have a lot of rabbits running around.
• Identify "snow mold" on your lawn. Snow mold varies in colors and can have different levels of damage depending on many factors.
• Control hungry critters with deterrents such as a small fence or chicken wire.
• If you prefer to hire a professional landscape company for your spring cleanup and planting tasks, get on their schedule, which typically books up fast.
Professional advice can help you manage winter damage. The sooner you know what is making your lawn, garden and trees suffer, the sooner they can heal.
Bob Bertog is president of Bertog Landscape Company, in Wheeling and a Certified Landscape Professional with the National Association of Landscape Professionals. He is also past president of the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association.
For information, visit Bertog Landscape Company on Facebook and Instagram, and online at www.bertoglandscape.com.