By John Shumway

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Mother Nature has taken care of watering our yards for a while, but they are still in need of a lot of help.

With the sunshine and warm temperatures expected, people are going to be itching to get out and do something.

Jim Atzert, who owns Lawn-N-Order in Ross Township, says the first thing to do simply requires a rake.

“Get that debris taken off the top of the yard. Twigs, leaves, any type of debris, leftover acorns, you’ve got to let the yard breathe. Get that off the surface,” he said.

And Atzert says don’t forget what the dog has left behind.

“It’s good to get that cleaned up too,” he said.

Once the debris is gone, Atzert says putting down some fertilizer is a good idea, but be careful with your spreader.

“If they do not overlap the wheel of the spreader, then you’ll get zebra stripes. You get dark green stripes and light green stripes,” he said.

Over-seeding with grass seed is also a good idea if you have sparse spots.

“Another good thing to do is aerate the yard. Core plug it, then put the seed down. It gets down in there and get the roots growing,” Atzert said.

And Sunday’s bad weather?

“That’s OK. It will be fine,” says Atzert.

Atzert says there are two things not to do in this brief warm-up this weekend.

Don’t plant annual flowers. Wait until after Mother’s Day.

And keep the mower in the shed.

Atzert says we’ve had too much rain recently to pull out the heavy equipment.

“Let it dry up a bit because when you have a heavy piece of equipment and you run it over it, you are going to be doing more damage than good,” he said.