Spring Yard Clean-Up Checklist

Spring cleaning isn’t just for inside your home! Before returning your outdoor furniture to your yard, make sure to give it a good tidying. When should you start spring cleaning? The best time to wait until is when the weather has been above zero at night for at least a couple of weeks before starting your spring clean-up routine.

What Your Spring Yard Clean-Up List Should Include

Clean-Up Tasks Details

A plant sprouting from a garden trowel in the spring yard.

Removing debris – before other clean-up tasks, remove dead branches and other remains from your yard. Rake your grass and garden beds. Compost the unwanted organic matter or dispose of it according to your region’s guidelines. Once your patio and lawn are cleared your grass will turn green and your buried perennials will thrive in no time.

Preparing flower beds – start by removing any leaves and dead plants from perennial beds. Pull up and remove deceased stems from your garden bed from the last summer season or from the fall. Scissors work better than pruners for this as you can get into tight spaces with them.

Fertilizing – is great for your beds, trees and shrubs and essential for lawn care. Mixing in some extra compost around your plants to fertilize them and make the soil friable is one of the best things you can do for them. Make sure to remove weeds as you encounter them. If you need to use a chemical fertilizer over compost, be sure to carefully follow the directions as chemical fertilizers can burn plants when used in excess.

Weed control – when opening up new beds, it’s a good idea to start weed control right away. To suppress weed development, lay some landscape fabric over the ground and cover that with a layer of mulch to protect the fabric from UV rays. Some don’t like landscape fabric in planting beds as the soil is not as exposed or available, instead use only mulch, like straw. For shrub planting beds, weed barriers are a great way to help keep your yard low-maintenance.

Landscape fabric and mulching are great in garden beds, but not for grass. Preemergent herbicides are then your best option, especially for things like crabgrass control. This is the optimal time to use a preemergent herbicide for crabgrass, and timing is important. Crabgrass seeds germinate when the soil is between 55 and 60°F. Preemergent herbicide is best applied before that time to be preventative.

Planting – and gardening can begin now! Early spring is a great time to plant shrubs and trees. Flower beds can also be started as long as the perennials are hardy enough to develop roots at that time. For flowering annuals and more sensitive perennials, wait until the last frost date has passed in your region for new growth to survive. You can also start new lawns or overseed your existing lawn with grass seed in the spring.

Pruning shrubs – just after winter it’s time to prune branches. Free your shrubs from the coverings that were protecting your bushes and inspect them before pruning. There are many reasons to remove wood and prune. This time of year is good to see which limbs are deceased and need to be cut back. If there is any dead wood or wood that has been recently damaged by winterkill, cut those away.
Spring cleaning is a great way to get a head start and keep your yard looking great!

Curb Wise