Seasonal Clean-Up: What Is It & Why Is it Important?

Man raking leaves - The Grounds Guys of Gettysburg

Are you staring at a lawn that could use some TLC? Landscaping isn’t just about watering and mowing the grass every other week. It also entails certain seasonal clean-up tasks that keep your soil healthy, promote root growth, and improve your lawn’s aesthetic.

“What’s seasonal clean-up,” you ask?

You may not know it, but all the landscaping tasks you complete to get your lawn looking pristine for family get-togethers and holiday celebrations encompass seasonal clean-up. We actually like to separate seasonal clean-up into two categories: fall landscape clean-up and spring landscape clean-up. You’ll typically perform these responsibilities (which we’ll discuss in-depth) in spring to prepare for summer and fall to gear up for winter.

What Does Fall Clean-Up Include?

Because we’re headed into fall, we think it’s appropriate to talk through fall landscape clean-up first and what you should be doing to prep your landscape for Gettysburg’s harsh winters.

Raking Up Leaves and Composting

Everyone loves fall leaves, right? Well, when they’re still on branches. Otherwise, you probably aren’t looking forward to raking up this beautiful foliage when it lands in your yard. Once you have control over the leaves, composting should be your next step.

To properly compost, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Create a tidy pile of leaves or add them to a compost bin about three feet high at most.
  • Step 2: Alternate leaves and grass clippings, decomposing fruit or vegetable peels, or manure—all rich in nitrogen.
  • Step 3: Monitor the compost pile and turn it once a month. Remember that the composting process may slow or stop when the temperature reaches 40 degrees Fahrenheit and below. Your pile should be damp, not too soggy.
  • Step 4: When your compost pile is ready, it’ll be dark, brittle, and smell earthy.

Tackling Weeds

We can’t stress enough the importance of weed control and eliminating pesky weed species before they take over your grass. You must ensure you apply pre-emergent as soon as possible and pull weeds when the soil is still moist after heavy rain or watering.

Applying Fertilizer

If composting isn’t your thing, you can go straight to using fertilizer to provide your grass and flower beds with the proper nutrients to sustain them through a potentially difficult winter. In Gettysburg, September is the perfect time to apply fertilizer to your lawn as the temperature is becoming cooler and the grass is recovering from summer’s heat. Fertilizer will give it that boost of nitrogen to jumpstart grass growth.

Pruning Trees and Bushes

Just think how unhealthy your hair might appear if you never cut off damaged or dead ends. Your bushes and trees operate similarly, requiring pruning to remove any damage. You’ll want to wait until all the leaves fall off the trees and bushes and they go dormant before pruning. Why? Because you’ll be able to see the structure better and identify diseased or damaged areas that must go.

Mowing the Grass

As the temperature drops, mowing the grass every two weeks is unnecessary. Typically, your grass will become dormant when temperatures reach below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. We also recommend adjusting your mowing frequency to every three weeks instead of every two weeks. Don’t worry if you’re unsure when to make this adjustment. Your grass will let you know.

What Does Spring Clean-Up Include?

For spring clean-up tasks, March or April is the best time to get your landscape looking immaculate again. Many of the same tasks from the fall will transfer over (i.e., mowing, pruning, and weed control). Still, there are a few new clean-up duties to tackle.

Re-Edging and Cleaning Garden and Flower Beds

Even in cooler temperatures, grass blades continue to grow. So, it’s not uncommon to find grass slightly overgrown where you once had a perfectly edged lawn right before winter. You might also notice weeds starting to sprout in flower and garden beds. Now is the time to make those edges crisp and clean up your flower beds for summer.

Reseeding Damaged Areas

Your lawn may have experienced a lot of foot traffic, a drought, or possible disease during Gettysburg’s winter months, resulting in visibly bare areas. Reseeding (even overseeding) can help with blade density to strengthen this area and combat further damage. Remember, reseeding with aeration, which we’ll touch on next, will go a long way in supporting germination and a healthy lawn.

Aerating the Soil

A spring landscape clean-up task that many people overlook is aeration. Why? We’re not sure. It could be because some homeowners aren’t sure how to aerate properly, which is understandable. Still, aeration is vital in lawn care when you have compacted soil and need to reseed bare patches. Aerating your soil can prevent weeds, allow nutrients to reach root systems, and improve grass to deter grass-eating insects.

Updating Seasonal Flowers

When you think of landscaping, seasonal color is probably at the top of the list. It may seem impractical to start updating your seasonal color/flower beds when it’s still chilly. However, the last frost of the season is a great time to change up your flower and garden beds—after removing weeds and aerating the soil, of course.

Fortify Your Lawn with Seasonal Landscape Clean-Up Service!

About 31% of Americans with lawns admit they don’t know how to grow a healthy lawn. Fortunately, The Grounds Guys of Gettysburg employs lawn care professionals to help with fall and spring clean-up services to get your grass and trees ready for any season.

Call to request your free estimate and trust our landscape company for fall and spring clean-up today.