The snow has melted, the birds are singing and, if you’re like us, you’re looking for any excuse to get outdoors! But when is the right time to start yard maintenance? Are there tasks you should (or shouldn’t!) focus on? Besides improving your property’s appearance, are there benefits to spring maintenance? Well, our team of experts here at the Vande Hey Company is ready to help. Follow our guide to spring clean up, and you’ll be welcoming a lush lawn and landscape for the season!
LAWN CLEANUP AND LEAF REMOVAL
Raking and cleaning up your lawn is probably the first task that comes to mind when you think of spring cleanup. There are more benefits to this than just aesthetic, though; removing old leaves, dead grass and branches from your lawn helps prevent rot, gives your lawn the light it needs to flourish, and loosens up matted grass clumps that can smother new growth. We recommend treading lightly on saturated lawns in the spring, though… too much impact can compact your soil before it dries out. Also, while you’re filling up those leaf bags, remember to clean out your window wells, corner areas, stairwells, etc.!
MULCHING AND EDGING
Tidy mulch in your landscape beds is an instant upgrade to your home’s appearance, and a relatively easy task to accomplish. First, clean out any unwanted debris from your beds including trash, branches, excess leaves and dead foliage. If you have a good amount of organic mulch still in your beds, you can use a rake or fork to turn, cultivate and rake out the existing mulch for a fresh and smooth appearance. Add new mulch to your beds in mid to late spring, letting the soil warm up a bit to ensure healthy growth. Mulch serves many different purposes, from holding moisture in the soil and maintaining a consistent ground temperature to giving plants a higher survival rate, adding visual interest to your landscape, and boosting nutrients in your soil.
Make sure your flower beds, walkways, and driveway are cleanly edged as well. Clear out any plant material or grass that is overreaching and, if your beds have a natural edge, make sure the mulch ends about 2″ deeper at the border to keep it looking crisp. Defined edging is a simple and inexpensive way to give your property a well-manicured look.
INSPECTING AND PRUNING PLANTS
Early spring is a great time to prune many trees and shrubs as they are still dormant. First, you’ll want to identify the plant material you’re planning to prune. Early bloomers, like lilacs and magnolias, shouldn’t be pruned in the spring because this would trim off their dormant buds, preventing those beautiful early spring blooms you love to see. For summer-blooming plants, though, pruning in early spring will help them bloom more profusely. Here’s how to go about it: first, focus on dead, damaged, or diseased branches to improve the health of the plant. Then, move on to pruning any unwanted lower branches, overlapping or crowded spots, or areas that need to be trimmed to achieve your desired shape. Make sure you prune each branch down to a node: where one branch or twig attaches to another.
HERBICIDES AND FERTILZERS
Now is a great time to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to your landscape beds to prevent weeds from rooting. Doing this early in the season, before weeds even start coming up, will save you time in the summer months and keep your beds looking great. It’s also the right time to start back on a fertilizing program. Lawns will benefit from a fertilizer treatment once you notice it beginning to green up and actively grow. Perennials, ornamentals, vegetables and even annuals will benefit from a spring fertilizer once the threat of frost eases, as well. Just make sure to fertilize when there is no threat of rain, or you’ll be washing away all of those beneficial nutrients!
Spring is an exciting time for everyone to get outdoors, whether you’re a new hobbyist, a knowledgeable gardener or a busy homeowner. At Vande Hey Company, we are here to help, share our knowledge, and find the service that best fits you! If yard maintenance isn’t your thing, or you simply don’t have the time to spend on it, reach out to our Landscape Management team to discuss our service options. We’re excited to offer both standard as well as organic services! And, as always, you’re welcome to stop in or call to discuss any questions or concerns with our team – we’re happy to help!