Spring Cleaning Outdoors: Lawn & Garden Tips

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By Mary

Each spring there is an assortment of garden chores that can be done early in the year, before planting season arrives.

This is also the time we need to assess the lawn and provide basic lawn maintenance to keep it in optimum health.


Following are some tips to guide you through your spring gardening chores and save yourself a lot of work later in the season.


Spring Lawn Care

As soon as your lawn dries out from the spring melt off, get a head start on lawn care by raking it thoroughly. This gets rid of decaying leaves, dead growth, sticks and winter debris and allows air and light to penetrate for healthy new growth.

It’s also a great time to aerate your lawn if this is usually something you do. I don’t aerate because my soil is home to earthworms that aerate it naturally. The reason for aerating is to make sure your lawn has sufficient air to enter the root system of the grass and promote healthy growth.

Here’s a checklist before using your lawn mower for the first time this spring.

For your first spring mowing, you will need to fill the mower with gas and oil, check the carburetor, and possibly sharpen the blade. A lawnmower that is properly maintained promotes healthy growth in your lawn.

Caring For Flowers & Plants

cleaning-out-the-flower-bed-by-iChris.jpg If you have any perennials or shrubs that you want to move, spring is the time to do so.

This spring, I’ve transplanted clematis, Oriental poppies and several shrubs. I’m also planning to move all my iris from several locations to one bed, to create and iris garden.

Also, check the perennials in your flower beds for any uprooting that may have occurred due to freezing and thawing during the winter months.

Perennials should be replanted in the spring, so they will thrive and bring your garden alive with color and fragrance.

Spring is the perfect time to enhance existing flower beds or create new ones. However, don’t work your flower beds until the ground crumbles in your hand. If you dig in wet conditions, the structure of the soil will be damaged. When conditions are right, turn over the soil and add compost to prepare the bed for planting once all danger of a hard frost is past.

Now is also a good time to edge flower beds. Be sure to make a sharp trench between the flower bed and your lawn. This will keep the grass from moving into the bed. I do this several times a year and if it’s done in the spring, it makes it much easier to maintain. I also install edging or stone to prevent grass from moving into the beds. Flower beds with a good edge are very low maintenance.


Trimming and Pruning Trees & Plants

Spring is the time to prune your trees. Don’t forget to cut dead plant material from perennials and remove dead wood from shrubs at the same time.

You will want to remove all burlap or tree guards that have protected your trees through the winter months. Tree guards stop air flow to the trunk in warm weather and promotes bark rot.

Decorative grasses should also be cut back at this time to give them an opportunity to rejuvenate.

pruning-roses-by-robinsan.jpg Always prune roses before leaf buds appear. Remove mulch or other winter protection to allow air and light to the root system of your roses.

Here’s a video with great tips about pruning roses.

If you have fruit trees, they should be sprayed in the spring, as should shrubs magnolias and crab apple. This kills any pests that burrowed into the bark over the winter. Be sure to use organic spray. These can be purchased at most garden centers.


Good News: If all of these gardening chores are completed in the spring, then you will be well on your way to beautiful landscaping that will be the talk of your neighborhood. By acting now, you’ll save yourself time and back-breaking tasks during the hot summer months.


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