With wintertime almost over, the first signs of spring are starting to show. With the cold spell coming to an end and with the year still being a new one, this is the perfect time for a fresh, blossoming yard cleanup.
Although it may only look like a couple of twigs and dead flowers to clean up, yard work is so much more taxing in reality. Each branch, each stem, and each pack of fertilizer demands your full attention, and if you take a casual and easy way out, you will leave your yard in a real mess.
However, a well-planned and calculated spring cleanup can help you avoid all the troublesome aspects of the cleaning. Unsurprisingly, planning your yard cleanup can also help your garden grow back much better, thriving, and colorful. Once you have all your energy geared up for a day, or a couple of days’ worth of hard work, here’s what you have to do.
When Should I Start My Spring Cleanup?
Since spring comes gradually and not all at once, it can be a little challenging to determine precisely when you should start your spring cleanup. The departure of winter and arrival of spring can vary in timing and pace. Sometimes, you may notice some of your plants already flowering and bearing fruits while the others have only just turned their leaves brown.
Different plants have different flowering cycles and resistance to winter spells. The soil and fertilizer you use may also create a difference in how ready the garden is at any particular point to go through a yard cleanup. And the most significant factor of all is the regional difference. The climate, the humidity, the pollution, rain, and other elemental differences mean that springtime officiates at different dates in different places.
So when it seems like there’s practically no surefire way to mark the beginning of spring, which month is the safest to do your yard work? Well, it’s March. As soon as you turn the calendar in the first week of March, you may mark the earliest date possible to begin your yard cleanup.
March is a month that brings stable seasonal changes, rapid blooming, and an ideal environment to clean up remains of the dead yard elements. Just as March begins, most plants prepare to dive into their new cycle, so this offers you the shortest cleaning duration because many plants also recover from the effects of winter, returning to their bloom, and hence lessening the mess you need to clean up. With that said, not all plants in your yard will recover on their own.
On the contrary, much of your yard will need an intense episode of pruning, trimming, repotting, and other chores. Wondering which task to begin with? Here’s a handy guide.
What Steps Do I Need to Take?
Okay, so this depends on how much of a wreck your yard currently is. If you’re a habitual cleaner, you’re in luck because that saves you from an in-depth, rigorous cleaning process. If you have a small yard with only a couple of pots and artificial grass, you won’t need to exert much effort there, either. However, if you have delayed your yard cleanup for months, or if there have been extreme weather conditions in your area, you may prepare yourself for an intensive yet therapeutic yard renovation. Although each yard work has different numbers and descriptions of steps depending on its contents and caregiver service, there is a basic guideline everyone can follow to sort out their spring cleanup in the best way possible.
Prune Away Dead and Damaged Branches
The first step, whether you have a small yard with plants, or a huge one with full-grown trees, is to remove their dead parts so you can rake all the mess together from the ground. Pruning and trimming are the two basic phenomena that lay the foundation of your yard's health for the coming year. When you have branches, trunks, or stems more than half an inch thick in diameter, you may prune your plants, but for those thinner, chunkier parts, you may do well with only mild trimming.
So what's the difference between the two? Well, trimming is when you only snip across the outgrowth using your regular pair of garden shears to restore the original shape of the plant. Pruning, by contrast, uses handsaws to cut through the rougher, more intense outgrowth. You use your manual power to crisscross through the mess of outgrown and deadened branches until you're only left with the healthier and shaped part of the plant. Both pruning and trimming are best done manually since that allows you to create the shape you like and maintain maximum breathing space for the plant.
Clean Up Around Plants
The second step is to remove all the moss, dead grass, twigs, composts, anthills, and other elements from the ground to make it visible for further action. You see, even though your yard as a whole experiences the ups and downs of a complete seasonal cycle, it's the ground that bears the ultimate brunt of the entire situation. The silt, the grass, the pebbles, and the pavement all take the impact of how your plants change with the weather throughout the year. When you've cleaned up the ground area around your plants, it paces up their growth because they receive ample sunlight, water, and air.
The tools you need at this point include a rake, a dustpan, gloves, and a handheld brush set. You can use the rake for basic cleaning and scrape away most debris. Next, you may use gloves to carry and discard or replace other elements, such as hives or nests. Once all the debris is out of your way, you may brush off the ground and the areas surrounding your plants once more to get a neat look.
Prep Damaged Lawn Areas for Spring Seeding
With all the debris towed away, you'll notice that a significant amount of your soil has gone away with the debris. Much of that soil had already given up all of its nutrients, hence the need to prep your yard's grounds from the very beginning. This is done to keep the yard looking and smelling fresh and is also essential because a fresh round of soil and fertilizer ensures steady and healthy growth for your existing plants and the new seeds and pollen.
Start off by using a lawnmower to remove overgrown grass, shrubs, and mossy areas. Once you've leveled the ground on all sides of the yard, you can use a shovel and your hands to lay down new soil and fertilizer for the spring. You may also sow new seeds, repot your old plants along with their roots, or get fully grown plants placed in the yard during your yard cleanup.
Neaten Pathways and Patios
One last thing, then you can pat yourself on your back. Though the yard has a direct link with springtime and its benefits, the pathways and patios that surround or go through your yard may also need a little work. Here, you may not need soil sacks or shovels, but you will need your toolbox to work on the elements here.
You may start with repairing the floorboards, windows, fencing, seating, and other material parts of the construction. Once that is done, you can give these areas a good pre-spring wash to eliminate any odors or sights that could ruin the spring beauty in your yard. If you have a pebble or cobblestone pathway, you may consider changing their look as well.
Is It Time to Replace Your Shed?
A shed replacement is a part of the yard work, but it isn't always necessary. Still, if you've been using the shed for some time, you'll surely notice things that need repairs and replacements. Therefore, you can thoroughly analyze how damaged your yard is to see if it can do with a few repairs or if it will need a full-blown reconstruction. Here are some further details.
Inspect and Repair Sheds
During your yard inspection, start with the biggest objects and then work your way down to specific tools. Are the flooring, walls, and rooftop holding well, or do you see gaps and cracks throughout your yard? Does it need a new coat of paint or waterproofing after last year's rain?
Ordering a Replacement Cover
As a final touch, you may want to order a replacement cover in case the damage from spring and the past year's seasonal changes has been too harsh on your yard.
And there you go. This is the final step to top a simple yet effective spring yard cleanup.