What do you think of when you hear the term “Spring cleaning?” You more than likely think of de-cluttering and freshening up your home. The same idea applies outdoors! Now is a great time to Spring clean your lawn and garden to prepare them for a summer full of sunshine and fun.
Gather the family together so everyone is pitching in with the work and decide what needs the most attention. Undoubtedly there will be a build-up of leaves regardless if you raked during the fall. There may also be limbs which have fallen from the tree due to ice or wind. Check out the garden; what attention does it need? Do you have flower gardens which are about to burst forth with blooms? They’ll need consideration as well.
As soon as you can get out in the warmer springtime weather, use this checklist to help you prep and successfully Spring clean your lawn and garden:
Spring Clean Your Garden
- Remove any dead annuals which remained in the garden over the colder weather. You can add these to your compost pile or begin one if you haven’t already done so.
- Prune back any perennials you have in your garden. (Note: Of course, you’ll want to wait until you see new growth at the base of the plant before you prune them back.)
- Trim back any torn leaves from semi-evergreen plants such as hellebores or bearded iris. This will encourage the plant to send out new growth as well as help them look better while you wait for growth.
- Ornamental grasses are generally cut near the ground, within a few inches, to encourage new growth. Since these grasses are hardy, they’ll come up in their own time no matter when you trim them back.
- Pull up any weeds you see in flower gardens while the soil is damp. This will make it easier to rid your garden of the weeds, especially while they’re small. Be careful not to compost these weeds or they may take over your compost pile or possibly spread into other areas where you don’t want them.
- Test your soil to determine if it needs fertilizer. You can also amend your soil with other organic material to get it in the top shape possible.
- Divide or transplant during the Spring. The earlier you get this done, the better chance your plants will have to survive.
- Stake out your garden space. You may want to go ahead and plan your garden while you’re at it, too. Planning and staking your garden will train your plants early on, rather than having to struggle with them later in the growing season.
- Place a generous layer of mulch in your garden. This will cool the plant roots when needed, feed the soil, conserve water, and help keep weeds at bay.
- Edge your garden in the springtime and it will prevent your lawn from encroaching into the flower or vegetable garden. You’d also be surprised how much nicer a garden looks when it’s edged.
Spring Clean Your Lawn
- Let the air in! Take time to aerate your lawn. This is important to breathe fresh air into the root system which will allow water and fertilizer to reach the roots. There are many methods to do this: use shoes with spikes on them, a hand tool specifically designed for aeration, or rent a power aerator.
- Weed along the sidewalks. Of course, you can also remove dandelions and broadleaf weeds with an ergonomic weeding tool. The point is to remove the weeds, roots and all, from your lawn as early in the season as possible so they don’t grow or possibly spread.
- Repair your lawn. It’s almost inevitable that your lawn will have bare or brown patches. Remove the dead or discolored grass and sprinkle in some grass seeds. Then you can add fertilizer. Keep the area moist until the seed sprout and you can see new growth.
- Take care of yard tools. You may want to take your lawnmower in for a tune-up. Check the hand tools to ensure they’re not rusted or broken. Replace anything you feel is unsafe or past the point of repair.
Don’t forget any play items in your yard. Decide if there are other pieces you’ll want to add this year and where you will put them. Check the chains and seats on swing sets. Replace them if necessary. You want your children to enjoy the equipment but you also want them to be safe.
By taking a weekend in the early spring, you can get your yard and garden ready for whatever the spring and summer may have in store. Once the biggest tasks are done you’ll be glad knowing your yard and garden are ready to enjoy.