The Grounds Guys
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Ultimate Spring Clean Up Guide

Did winter cause problems to your lawn or damage a few bushes and trees? Spring is the right time to clean up your yard and prepare it for the growing season. This ultimate guide will lead you through every step of the process to help ensure a beautiful lawn and garden this summer.

Prune Trees, Shrubs and Other Perennials

  • Heavy snow storms, high winds and frigid temperatures can damage or kill branches. Prune these back to the live stems to improve the plant’s appearance.
  • Trim overgrown evergreens back to a manageable size.
  • Prune shrubs that flower in the summer before their buds swell, but wait to prune spring bloomers until their flowers have dissipated.
  • Cut back flowering perennials to 4 or 5 inches and ornamental grasses to 2 or 3 inches so new growth can shoot up.

Prep Your Flower Beds

  • Before you plant any new annuals, rake out fallen leaves and dead foliage to prevent smothering plants and spreading disease.
  • Remove existing mulch to set the stage for a new layer after you complete your spring planting.
  • Fasten loose drip irrigation lines with pins.
  • Tamp down heaved plants with your foot or replant them with a shovel.
  • Spread pelletized fertilizer on the soil’s surface so rain can sink the nutrients into the ground.
  • Fertilize bulbs as soon as they flower to extend their bloom time and feed next season’s growth.

Start a Compost Pile

  • Pruned branches, last year’s mulch and flower bed debris could form the foundation of a compost pile. A simple 3-foot by 3-foot corral made of wire fencing is the perfect place to store a compost pile.
  • Be sure to shred leaves and branches before adding them to the pile to accelerate decomposition. You can also add bagged compost to the starter pile to speed up the process.
  • Keep the pile moist and turn it with a pitchfork every two weeks to aerate the compost.
  • Avoid putting weeds in your compost pile since these have a tendency to sprout, which is undesirable.

Care for Your Lawn

  • Rake the lawn with a thatcher or rake.
  • Aerate the soil with either a manual or power aerator. Immediately following, spread a lay of peat moss over the lawn with a rake.
  • Check the turf for dead spots caused by salt, plows or disease and seed these areas once forsythia starts blooming in your region.
  • Add the first dose of fertilizer, crabgrass treatment and pre-emergent weed killer. Avoid applying weed killer to freshly seeded spots.
  • Sharpen or replace lawn mower blades and other lawn care tools.

Clean Up Hardscape Surfaces

  • Return escaped gravel to its place with a shovel or rake. Fill in depressions with more gravel.
  • Remove pavers that have heaved from the freeze-thaw cycle. Replenish the base material and set the pavers back in place.
  • Remove leaf stains, dust and leftover debris from patios and walkways with a pressure washer set on low.

Spruce Up Fences and Trellises

  • Check for wobbly fence posts and replace them as needed.
  • Patch rotted sections of fence with wood epoxy. If any pickets or lattices have completely rotted, replace them.
  • Scrub wood structures clean with a solution of one part liquid soap, eight parts bleach and 32 parts water.
  • Scrape off old paint, sand the surface, and repaint or stain the wood to revitalize your yard.

If you need help cleaning up your yard this spring, please contact The Grounds Guys®. We can complete everything on this list – and anything else you want us to tackle – so you don’t have slave over the work yourself.

For Further Reading:

Everything You Need to Know about Composting

Spring Trends

Weeds: A Love or Hate Relationship