Spring Clean-ups Made EasyWinter has been especially harsh this year. Here are some steps to bring your property back to life and how we can help.
We’ve made it through the Polar Vortex
We’ve made it through the Polar Vortex and I’m so happy that spring is right around the corner. I’m looking forward to longer days, warmer weather, spring flowers and enjoying time outdoors. I know it was a long winter when I’m also looking forward to yard work! My newly thawed optimism made me realize that the spring clean-up isn’t that bad. It just requires breaking it into a series of tasks and having the right tools for the job. I broke the process into a series of simple steps that you can tackle over the weekend (or have us do for you) and before you know it your yard will look spectacular and you will truly earn your summer!
Remove Debris and Holiday Decorations
Winter storms usually leave a messy path of broken branches and sticks. Gather up the larger debris first. This will allow for much easier raking. Empty any potted plants that didn’t make it through the winter or that you might have forgotten to pull out in the fall. If you haven’t already, remove any holiday decorations that may still be lurking around. I’m totally guilty of the last two, I had a few garlands and dead potted plants lingering.
Break out the Rake
Rake out your garden beds and lawn. Either compost the debris or dispose of your leaves according to your town’s guidelines. Also, make sure you have a good rake that isn’t missing any tines. Once your lawn is clear of leaves your grass will thank you. It will green up in no time and your buried perennials will begin to thrive.
Unless you live in a warm climate, your grass is looking tired and more tan than green. Fertilizer is a great idea. It gives your lawn the nutrients it needs for strong roots and a lush green appearance. For us, a 20-5-10 mixture is what we need right now.
Prune and Trim
Last summer may have been very kind to your shrub and tree growth, so now is the time for a “haircut.” Trim back any branches and shape shrubs. I recommend doing this before raking if you have a lot of trimming and are going to make a mess with clippings.
Edge the Beds
This is my favorite part of clean up. It is kind of like the “eyebrow wax” of the makeover… it’s a little thing that visually makes a huge difference! Grass naturally grows into your flower beds leaving a messy unruly edge. This is the step that defines a crisp line between the two and helps keep your mulch contained.
Mulching serves many purposes. It helps your plantings retain moisture, it creates a weed barrier and prevents soil erosion. It also gives your beds a finished look. When mulching a bed for the first time it is wise to lay a preventative chemical down. This prevents any growth of seedlings/weeds that might be lurking in or under the soil from coming to the surface.
You can use leaves, wood chips, compost or even stone for mulch. Spread your mulch 2-4″ thick, but go sparingly around tree and shrub bases. Too much mulch in these areas can actually cause rot and prevent water from getting to the roots. It is best to remove old or excess mulch first in these areas before applying new.
Repairs/ New Projects and Planting
Last step! So you cleaned and surveyed your yard. If all went well, congratulations… you can put your feet up and enjoy your oasis! If you’re like me, you might have created more work for yourself by coming up with new projects or ideas for your landscaping. I’m actually always adding new things to my list so I don’t think I will ever be finished.
In this case, We kept noticing pea stone that had traveled out of our patio and into the yard. The patio was put in a year ago and the customer never gave it a retaining edge. We had high hopes that the grass would suffice, but obviously we were wrong. I have always loved the look of cobbles as edging. And the results speak for themselves.
Now you’re all set
The hard part is done and we are now ready to make use of the yard and relax!
If you feel there is anything along these lines that we can help you with. Please give us a call today. We are here to help with all your landscape maintenance needs.
-Eric Maedgen, Owner
Maedgen’s Lawn Care, LC