Sometimes, life's big events have a way of sneaking up on you. Whether it's your turn to host the big family reunion or just a fast-approaching get-together, a special event causes you to see your landscape in a new light.
Don't despair! As long as the clock's still ticking down, there's time for a backyard makeover. Have your lawn and garden looking great when guests arrive by following these makeover tips, based on the time remaining before your event.
With your party still weeks away, there's plenty of time to get your outdoor spaces in order. Make sure the following tasks are on your to-do list:
- Rid your lawn of bare spots, so grass is lush and thick by party time. Pennington One Step Complete® combines mulch, seed and fertilizer in one easy-to-use product that repairs bare spots in two weeks or less with proper care and conditions.
- Get your green on, and take grass and ornamentals from pale to deep green fast. Ironite® 1-0-1 Mineral Supplement greens lawns with a gentle, non-burning dose of nitrogen, iron and other minerals. Give trees, shrubs and flowers an extra lift with Ironite® Plus Lawn & Garden Spray 6-2-1 RTS. Just attach a hose to the container, then spray to deliver nutrients to leaves and plant roots.
- Augment existing plantings with new annuals, perennials or flowering shrubs. Shop for plants with plenty of tight flower buds, but look for buds that only hint at color or don't show any color at all. They'll save the show for your party.
- Get new plants in the ground and off to a speedy start with a complete, fast-acting fertilizer, such as Ironite® Plus Plant Food 12-10-10 or Lilly Miller® All Purpose Lawn & Garden Food 16-16-16. These nutrient-rich fertilizers quickly boost plant growth.
- Reduce transplant shock and encourage root development with Pennington® UltraGreen® Plant Starter with Vitamin B1, which provides iron, manganese and zinc in forms that keep micronutrients flowing to your new plants.
The weeks leading up to your event may have flown by, but there's still time to tend to plants before guest arrive. Change your approach with the following tasks for the final days:
- Forget tight buds when shopping for annuals and perennials; go for color! Look for fully-open flowers and lots of plump, colorful buds ready to spill open.
- Give plants a quick, pre-event lift while also keeping the long run in mind. A balanced fertilizer, such as Lilly Miller® All Purpose Planting & Growing Food 10-10-10, blends quick-acting and slow-release nutrients for lush, steady growth.
- Keep new transplants looking like they've been in your garden for weeks with a plant starter, such as Pennington® Ultragreen® Plant Starter With Vitamin B1.
- Water your existing plants thoroughly and deeply, so they're fresh and well-hydrated when guests arrive.
- Check your plants for pests, especially on the undersides of leaves, and eliminate the chance of uninvited insect guests. Worry Free® Brand Insecticide and Miticide products, in ready-to-use, ready-to-spray or concentrate forms, are based on a botanically backed formula derived from chrysanthemum flowers. These powerful pesticides kill pests on contact, and then quickly break down in the environment.
- Consider hanging baskets, either single-flower types or mixed baskets, for quick, colorful coverage. Hang some from strategically placed shepherd's hooks, and plant others. Weave the trailing blooms in and around other plants for an instant garden tapestry.
Even with little time to spare, makeover magic is still possible. Stay focused and put these tried-and-true tactics into action:
- Forget planting in soil; there's no time for that! Use the same tricks professional event planners use, and go straight for temporary mulch plantings instead. Have your local garden center deliver full flats of flowering annuals at their peak. Arrange the flats wherever you want an instant garden. Water them well, and then surround them with a 3- to 4-inch layer of mulch. Take the mulch up over the edges of the flats and in among the blooms, as needed, until every trace of plastic is hidden.
- Buy hanging baskets with open flowers and vibrant color. Remove the hangars and sink the pots in mulch mounded deep enough to hide the basket, or sit them in between perennials that add camouflage.
- Follow the lead of interiorscapers, and use decorative indoor or outdoor containers to hide nursery pots and create container gardens on the spot. Sit an upside-down pot or packing material inside the decorative container, then place hanging baskets or large-size perennials and annuals inside. Fill in with mulch.
- Outfit large houseplants, such as indoor palms, in the same way for a spur-of-the-moment botanical hedge or staggered screen.
After the Party
You did it! Now it's time to tie up a few post-party loose ends with these final makeover tasks:
- Give any temporary plantings a more permanent home with the help of Pennington® fertilizer products, so plants get settled in and ready for your next event.
- Take time to repair any missed bare or thin lawn spots with Pennington One Step Complete and the full line of Pennington® New and Improved One Step Complete® products with improved mulch.
If the thought of all that planting after the party seems like too much work, there is another option: Send your guests home with blooming party favors they'll never forget!
Pennington, Pennington One Step Complete and One Step Complete are trademarks of Pennington Seed, Inc. Ironite, Lilly Miller, UltraGreen and Worry Free are registered trademarks of Central Garden & Pet Company.