Home Tip Tuesday: Spring Yard Maintenance

Give your yard the best chance to look beautiful this summer.

Spring brings a sense of hope and renewal and, oh yes, yard maintenance! Completing crucial chores now will give your landscape the best chance to look beautiful all summer. Early maintenance also reduces the amount of work you have to later--so why wait?

Take a Walk About
Grab a note pad and a pencil, and take a walk around your home. Does the siding need to be pressure washed, are gutters and downspouts in need of repair? Make a list of maintenance “to-dos” and prioritize the tasks. These jobs aren’t technically considered yard care, but may involve trimming, transplanting or working around foundational plants. There’s no point in filling that bed with colorful spring annuals right now if you’re going to be trampling through it to replace window caulking.  Inspecting your home from 360 degrees also gives you the chance to prevent some problems before they start. Shrubs and trees in little-used side yards could be cutting into your home’s paint or causing other problems through overgrowth.

Clean Those Beds
Early spring is the time to remove winter mulch and clean up any debris that collected in flower beds during the winter. Prune away all dead stalks and stems. If they haven’t budded yet, you can still prune any shrubbery that may have been overlooked during winter pruning.  Don’t forget to pull weeds before they become a bigger problem. After cleaning up, add amendments such as compost and organic fertilizers to give hungry spring plants the food they’ll need to get off to a good start. Laying down a 1- to 2-inch layer of mulch on top of the amended soil will help prevent new weeds from sprouting and will also save on watering.

Wake Up Your Lawn
Most types of grass experience a big growth spurt during the spring. This is a crucial time for developing strong root systems that will keep the lawn healthy in the heat of the summer. Make your lawn the envy of the neighborhood with these tips:

  • Give the grass and soil a chance to dry before starting yard maintenance
  • Spring clean your lawn with a gentle but thorough raking. Use a springy lawn rake to pull out dead leaves and grass other debris
  • Apply a pre-emergent weed control product to prevent weed seeds from sprouting. Skip this step if you have bare spots in the lawn you want to seed. The pre-emergent herbicide will also stop lawn seeds from germinating
  • Lightly fertilize the lawn. Cool-season grasses should be feed in early spring while warm-season grasses do better when fertilized in late spring after they’ve already started to green up.

Don't forget to move a comfortable chair to your favorite spot in the yard. That may be the most important spring chore of all!

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