8 Steps to Clean Up Your Yard for Spring

  1. Trees and Shrubs - Prune away dead and damaged branches from trees and shrubs. For anything larger than 1/2 diameter, use a handsaw. Use hand pruners to shapes hedges. For summer flowering shrubs, prune before before buds appear. For spring bloomers, wait to prune until after they stop flowering.
  2. Perennials and Grasses - To allow for new growth, trim flowering perennials to a 4-5 inch height and ornamental grasses to 2-3 inch height. Once the soil has thawed, dig up perennials such as hostas and daylilies. Divide them to thin crowded beds, leaving three stems per clump. Transplant or give away the rest. For winter-damaged roses, cut to one inch below the blackened area. For climbing plants, remove any woody canes.
  3. Plant Beds - Rake out dead foliage and leaves and add a wheelbarrow of organic yard waste. Add a 5-10-10 fertilizer around bulbs when they flower.
  4. Compost - If you don't compost already, now is a good time to start. There are many options for compost containers, including DIY projects. Compost should be kept as moist as a wrung out sponge and use a pitchfork to aerate every 2 weeks. Try not to add any early spring weeds as they could sprout.
  5. Lawn Care - Remove any turf that was damaged by plows, salt, or disease with a square metal rake. Plan to seed once forsythia start blooming.
  6. Paths and Patios - Refill joints between flagstones and fix any pavers that have heaved out of place. Use a low pressure tip on a pressure washer to to clean walkways and patios.
  7. Fences and Trellises - Remove badly rotted or damaged wood. Scrub wood clean with a mix of 2 gallons water, 2 quarts bleach, and 1 cup liquid soap. Wait to repaint until overnight temperature stays over 10 degrees C.
  8. Enjoy! Make time to be outside with friends and family. Plan a BBQ, practice your golf short game, or just relax with a good book.