It’s finally here! Spring. Time to get outside and enjoy. But first, it is also time to start thinking about cleaning up your yard and gardens.

Of course, a big motivation for doing this is simply so the outside of your home looks nice and presentable (thank goodness the public can’t see your closet right?). A proper spring clean-up will help prevent common turf diseases and pests and will also help ensure that your newly plants and annuals get off to a good start. It’s really important that a thorough spring clean-up is performed in order to get you started off on the right foot.

Remove Debris

There is typically quite a bit of debris in an average yard following winter. Whether it was leaves that got missed, broken branches, fallen pinecones, perennials that did not get cut back, or some other lingering debris, it’s really important to get it completely cleaned up. This not only looks cleaner and more appealing, but it also helps your lawn and flower beds air out and in turn can prevent things like mold or other diseases from creeping in.

Similarly, pests like to take shelter under fallen debris. This is of particular concern for plants growing along the foundation of our home where it was warmer over winter.. Cleaning up debris is a great way to lessen your chances of a pest problem in your landscape and your home.

Pay Attention To The Garden Beds

Your flower beds are often your best opportunity for some wow factor and it’s so important that you get them ready for those beautiful spring and summer blooms now. A pre-emergent application for weed control is vital. We also like to do a good aeration of the mulch in order to allow some air and minerals to seep into your plants. The better health your mulch and soil is in, the better your chances for thriving spring flowers.

Giving your beds some attention now will ensure that you can enjoy them to the fullest for the entire season.

Put An Edge On It

Edging also goes a long way in boosting the curb appeal of your flower beds. It gives a clean, crisp look with some delineation from the lawn.

Using a flat spade, cut a 2”-3” deep slice where the lawn meets the garden. The soil can usually be kicked into the garden but be careful not to put soil around the base of trees or shrubs. Any clumps should be broken up and spread out. If there really is an excessive amount of soil, it should be removed and used somewhere else on your property.

Divide and Conquer

The spring clean up is a great time to divide overgrown perennials such as hostas, daylilies and liriopes.

Gently dig up the plants. Using a knife or shovel, carefully divide the plants into smaller pieces. Re-plant one at the original site and transplant the others to different areas of your garden. By the way, divided perennials make great gifts for your gardening friends.

For more on perennials see How To Divide Perennials.

A Blanket of Mulch

A 1”-2” layer of mulch will keep the roots moist, cool in the summer, and warm in the winter. It also helps to prevent weeds from growing. Oh, and it looks really nice.

Be careful not to put too much down though. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. It could actually suffocate plants. Never put mulch right up against the base of trees or shrubs.

One other tip, keep mulch back a little from the foundation of our home to prevent rot and providing protection to ants and termites.

For more information on mulch, see out post Why Mulch.

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