There are a few crucial steps that every homeowner should be aware of each year as the snow begins to thaw or the cold weather begins to dissipate after another long winter. Continue reading below to find out what we recommend you do to keep your outdoor spaces looking their absolute best.
The first step is also the most important. Winter will probably have brought debris, dead vegetation, trash, and other materials into your yard and it’s important to clean this mess out every spring so it doesn’t interfere with growth in your yard in the new year.
Use caution, and a thick pair of gardening gloves, when you’re cleaning up so you don’t accidentally skewer yourself with a wayward thorn or other piece of debris.
A good raking will remove that layer of dead leaves, pinecones, acorns, twigs, branches, and other pieces of vegetation that have taken up residence in your yard over the tail end of last fall and the preceding winter.
Raking gives your lawn a chance to breathe and access the sunlight it needs to survive and thrive in the new year. It will also de-clump the grass and give each blade room to grow. Raking your landscape beds removes that dead material that could promote fungal growth and cultivation of disease.
Pruning improves the health of your trees and vegetation, removes dangerous tree branches that overhang high-traffic areas, and keeps your shrubs and trees looking shapely and well-groomed. Consistent pruning at the right time on the right plant is key to a successful and beautiful landscape.
Edging is as much about aesthetics as it is about landscaping and lawn health. Clean edges give your outdoors a well-manicured look that’s apparent even from the street. It also keeps your lawn from growing into your landscape beds and interfering with the growth of the flowers, shrubs, bushes, plants, and trees you’re using in your landscaping.
Mulching encourages healthy plant growth by naturally preventing weeds and improving moisture absorption by plants. It kills weeds by covering them up and keeping them weighted down and absorbs the water released by heavy rains so it doesn’t drown your new plants and vegetation.
Ensure that you are careful to avoid piling mulch up on the root flare of your plants as it will promote rot and disease. If you do have this already, promptly remove the mulch from the root flare and mulch very lightly up to the base of the plant.
Fertilizing gives your plants and lawn access to the nutrients they need to grow into vibrant and luscious landscapes. It can be a great bonus if you’re able to time fertilizer application so it coincides with light rain (either right before or immediately after) to help it absorb into the soil.
Some people choose to apply a light coating of herbicide to their lawns when they apply fertilizer to prevent weeds from growing and competing with a healthy lawn. If you do this, ensure you use the right kind of herbicide and avoid applying it in areas where you might prevent the growth of desirable plants, flowers, shrubs, etc.
Proper lawn and landscape care is a labor of love. It requires attention every single year and we don’t recommend skipping these tasks even if your outdoors doesn’t look “that bad this year.” You’ll be glad you took the time to put in the effort when your outdoor spaces grow to become the beautiful and green oases you deserve to enjoy.