We’re well into Spring. As the days warm, we’ve got a plan for you to get your outdoor space ready for summer’s delight. But, first, we’re going to need to take care of what the winter left behind and the best way to do that is a thorough yard clean-up.
It All Starts Here
Anyone who aspires to have a gorgeous, clean, enjoyable lawn for summer has to undertake a bit of early prep work in spring, beginning with a total yard clean-up.
Even if you’ve raked your yard in autumn, and gotten every last leaf, winter has a strange way of leaving debris behind. With a rake, start combing around the existing plants to remove the dead foliage and leaves which may have blown onto your property from a neighbor’s yard. Left alone, these unwanted items can choke your plants or even make them sick. Put everything (except weeds — bag them for complete disposal) you gather into a wheelbarrow, and hold on to it for later.
Old Mulch is Out of Here.
Remove last year’s mulch. It’s overstayed its welcome. Where to put the mulch? Read on.
- Composting is a Snap.
To make effective compost, simply grind all the leftover yard debris in your wheelbarrow into baby-bite sized pieces and place in a composting container or bin. Garden centers also have a material which will speed the process. Just remember to keep the contents moist and toss it around with a pitchfork every couple of weeks. Don’t be alarmed if you see mist rising occasionally. Composting matter will get hot.
- The Stage is Set.
Once you’ve prepped your outdoor space, this is the time to spread some pelletized fertilizer around your growing beds. We recommend using a 5-10-10 compound. What do those numbers mean? A bag of 5-10-10 fertilizer is composed of 5% percent nitrogen, 10% phosphate and 10% potash. It’s safe for lawns, flowers and other plants.
- Edgy Business.
With a square-head shovel, dig into your beds. Give the space between your lawn and your plants a nice, clean edge. For a useful, and visually pleasing look, purchasing some inexpensive stone or pavers will help to maintain the beds and keep grass from invading the flower space.
- Looking Up. Looking Down.
Winter does a number on growing things which kiss the sky. Using a sturdy ladder, pruning those branches which have suffered damage from the winter elements and remove anything that is dead as well. We’re not ones to employ an electric or gas-powered device to prune. Instead, we prefer going old school — a handsaw if the wood is thick. Likewise, invest in a hand clipper. These tools allow you to “barber” your foliage with the precision of a true spring gardening surgeon. Be careful not to clip away at plants about to flower. But, it’s O.K. to trim the summer-blooming shrubs. They will thank you by bursting with color when the time is right. For evergreens, snip them back a tad. It will encourage the conifers to sprout in that direction as the temperatures rise.
Those lovelies should be pruned so they’re about 4 inches from the ground. Ornamental grasses — around 2 inches high will do the trick. That will let new growth shoot to the stars. Another spring gardening tip: gently dig a few of the larger plants from the ground, and with a sharp shovel, divide them into smaller plants. Then transplant the perennials to other areas where some greenery is needed. Roses? Look for the blackened area, measure an inch toward the main stem of the bush, and cut.
Good Lawns Gone Bad.
When prepping your grass for spring, and saving it from winter’s damage, the first order of business is to test the soil’s pH in areas where the turf looks unhealthy. This will allow for finding t he right chemicals to repair the soil and provide a healthier environment for the new grass. Any dead turf will need to be removed, and possibly some of the topsoil. In some cases, augmenting the soil with the right chemicals will help to better prepare your dirt. Sprinkle the chemicals around, then begin turning the soil with a shovel. If you have a tiller, even better. Water the area, wait a few days and run another pH test. If you’ve gotten to the sweet spot, toss on some fertilizer and a compound to make the soil averse to the future growth of crabgrass.
If you’re looking for an enhancement that leads to curb appeal, then a little gravel, stone, brick, or wood borders can make all the difference in your yard. Tidy-up these areas, refill as necessary, and clear out any winter debris from here as well. If necessary, purchase some new materials to top-off the elegance.
You’re done. By taking these yard clean-up ideas and spring gardening tips, not only will you see green on your property, but you might also detect a shade of that color in your envious neighbor’s faces.
Spring Clean-Up | Green Bay, WI | 920.434.7918