Did you know leaving your landscape alone during the winter months is healthy for plants? If you follow this advice, then it’s important to perform a spring clean-up. Here is a spring landscape cleanup checklist to help you decide what projects you should take on this spring to ensure an attractive and healthy landscape.
Focus on Your Lawn
Remove fallen tree limbs. In New England, we’ve had a lot of high winds lately. Now’s the time to remove all the fallen trees or limbs that are matting down your grass. Always remember, call an expert if you need help.
Rake. Make sure to give your lawn a good raking, as the turf area requires proper circulation. While raking, remove matted down leaves, pine needles, sticks, and any other yard debris.
Aerate. Spring is the time to aerate your lawn. This process allows air, fertilizer, and water to move freely through the grass and penetrate down to the roots. According to The Spruce, aerating is usually accomplished with a walk-behind machine with hollow or solid tines mounted on a drum which propels the machine forward, poking holes along the way. Aerating can also be done with simple tools like a pitchfork, a pitchfork-like tool with hollow tines, or even sandals equipped with long spikes.
Plant seed. If there are bare spots in your lawn, wait until rain is in the forecast and then plant grass seed to tidy up any bare spots. The rain will help germinate grass!
Fertilize. Similar to planting seed, fertilize your grass when rain is in the forecast so it can sink down to the roots.
Kill Weeds. Look for weeds in your grass and remove them. It’s important to get them early, especially dandelions, otherwise, they’ll set seeds and spread all over your lawn. Now is also a good time to apply herbicides to prevent crabgrass.
Prune Trees, Shrubs, and Plants
Winter elements damage tree and shrub branches. It’s important to cut off the broken or dead branches to ensure room for new growth. You may consider calling an expert to help with large branches.
Next, remove last year’s annuals to make new room for new ones. Then, cut back perennials to encourage new growth allowing new buds to fully benefit from water and/or fertilizer.
Finally, now is the time to trim dormant plants. You can choose what shape to make the plant, but be careful you’re not cutting trees, shrubs, or plants that flower in the spring!
Spend Time in Your Gardens
In the same way you removed debris from your lawn, perform the same task in your flower beds. Clear out leaves, twigs, and last year’s mulch. Next, make sure you pruned all the plants in the bed. Finally, decide if the garden is the right size. If you want to expand, now is the time to edge out more space. Once that’s done, it’s time to prepare the soil.
Prepare the soil. Get your soil ready for planting by digging down about 14 inches. Loosen and turn over the soil. Then add water allowing the soil to settle and release air pockets.
Divide perennials. Certain types of perennials like daylilies spread over time. It’s important to separate them, as it will increase performance. When you see new growth, loosen the ground until you see the root ball. Find as many root balls as possible and remove the access soil. Finally, use a knife to separate the roots into smaller clumps.
Early Planting and Mulch. Dig into the soil, drop the root ball, cover it up, and then apply some mulch. Now your garden is ready for the growing season.
Now that you have your spring landscape cleanup checklist, get out in the sunshine and start your spring clean-up tasks today!