Answer: The most important thing you can do for your lawn is to mow it correctly. Mow often enough that you never take off more than one third of the grass height at a time. This may mean mowing more than once a week, especially in the spring. Your local county extension should be able to help you devise a good lawn maintenance routine based on the specific type of lawn grass you have and on the soil test results from your yard.
Rabbits will eat many kinds of plants so if you have a rabbit problem you should consider fencing your garden area or you may have to resort to frequent use of the spray on rabbit repellents. These are sold at garden centers, read and follow the label directions for appying and reapplying.
Remove the weeds from your garden before you plant. You can dig them out by hand or you can use an herbicide containing glyphosate. Read and carefully follow all of the label directions if you use the herbicide. Then add some organic matter such as compost to the soil, level and rake it smooth. After planting, mulch the area with several inches of organic mulch to help keep down weeds.
For a sunny area you could use sun loving annuals such as marigolds, petunias, or salvia. In a shady area you could plant shade tolerant flowers such as impatiens. These would bloom all summer until frost.
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