While your big spring yard cleanup of 2021 may still be a few months away, it never hurts to have a checklist of tasks to do prepared in advance. This way, you can make sure nothing escapes your attention, and you have all the necessary tools ready for when it is finally time to freshen up your garden for the new growing season.
Tidying up your backyard from last year’s debris will ensure its safety and give it an attractive and healthy look. If you spare no time and effort to do it correctly, you will be rewarded with a beautiful and well-manicured outdoor space. The following BumperCropTimes blog tips should come in handy for homeowners seeking to give their yard the tender loving care it deserves.
Five Things to Do to Your Yard February Through May 2021.
This 5-step guide will teach you how to give your beloved yard a picture-perfect look. From clearing the winter windfall to mowing the lawn, you will know precisely what needs to be done and when:
#1 Prune the trees and evergreen shrubs
Late winter or early spring is the right time to take care of the unsightly tree branches broken or deformed by winter storms and ice. You will want to be careful with pruning your flowering shrubs, though. When to trim those depends on their blooming period and their flower-growing patterns. To make sure you do not do anything to cause permanent damage to that beautiful greenery in your yard, keep the following in mind:
- Spring-flowering shrubs like azalea, wisteria, or lilacs should be cut after their spring blooming is over and the flowers fade. These shrubs flower on the growth from the previous year, so by pruning them too early, you will be destroying the buds.
- Summer-flowering shrubs such as roses and butterfly bush need to be pruned hard late winter before there comes any new growth on which they form their buds.
#2 Clear large debris and waste
A good cleanup usually starts with some preparatory works. Before you can rake the fallen leaves, you will need to remove any debris and garbage from your yard. Get rid of the windfall branches, sticks, pinecones, and pruned trimmings first. Then clear your outdoor property of any household trash, broken glass, dog poop, etc. It is advisable to separate your waste into three piles:
- for compost
- for recycling
- for disposal
#3 Cut aggressive weeds early
Another crucial thing to do before raking is to tackle any overgrown and invasive weeds. It is best to deal away with those early in spring before their roots even get a chance to strengthen, making it impossible to pull them out entirely.
A line trimmer powered by a battery or petrol should be able to make short work of the overgrown, tough weeds in your yard. If you are looking for a greener alternative, you may want to try applying an all-organic pre emergent herbicide sometime around March or April. Apply it after the air temperature has reached 65–70 °F and has remained thus for at least four days in a row. Under these conditions, the soil temperature is about 55°F, which is perfect for weed seeds to begin germinating.
By using the following time-tested agricultural methods and practices, you will be able to minimize weeds and wildflowers on your lawn:
- never over-water it
- never mow the grass too short
- let your mow clippings stay where they fall
- skip fertilization in spring
#4 Rake leaves and grass in due time
Now that your yard and lawn are free from any debris, waste, and tall weeds, it is time to break out the rake and remove the fallen leaves. It is paramount to do that properly since a good raking will boost the flow of air to the ground, prevent soil diseases, which are sometimes caused by the rotting and molding leaves, and enhance the overall germination.
There is one big no-no to spring raking, and that is that you cannot do it too early in the season. By removing the fallen leaves from the soil that is still cold, you deprive it of its natural insulation and mess with future germination. Besides, you risk pulling out healthy vegetation whose roots are still too weak to hold it in the ground.
A word of advice: if you choose to compost the piled leaves and other natural debris, make sure to shred larger things like pinecones and acorns. In the compost bin, those will not break down easily unless you fragment them first.
#5 Mow the lawn with precision
Before you start the lawn mower, take your time to make sure everything works as it should:
- check for any missing or broken parts that need replacing.
- sharpen the blades to give them a clean and neat cut (blunt blades will not only add to your workload but can also damage the lawn and create a jagged surface).
- adjust the appropriate cutting height.
The cutting height of 2.5 to 3 inches is considered optimal for spring mowing. By keeping your lawn grass 3-inch tall throughout spring and early summer, you will be able to prevent the intrusion of weeds and facilitate the growth of healthy roots.
A word of advice: by leaving the mow clippings on the lawn, you allow them to decompose naturally, returning water and some essential nutrients to the soil. It should result in your grass getting much greener, stronger, and healthier.
Minimize the Workload by Acting Early
The above tips and tricks should make spring-cleaning your yard easy and quick. If you follow our advice closely, you will be able to maintain your lawn and yard in tip-top condition without having to spend too much money on it or hire professionals to get the job done.
Have we managed to cover everything you need to know for your future spring yard cleanup? Should our next post include recommendations on mulching, fertilizing, working the soil, and composting? We would love to know what you think and will greatly appreciate any gardening tips of your own. Feel free to speak up in the comments below!