Spring Cleanup–tips and tricks from pros

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spring rakingOne of the first things to do each season is to start with a good spring clean-up; an all-over clean up and review of your lawn & landscape (including plants, shrubs, trees, and their beds). Fallen branches, debris that has been blown in from the neighbor’s yard, and “gifts” the snow plow delivered (chunks of sod, anyone??) all need to be removed. It is a huge part of maintaining a clean, crisp, great looking landscape.

Repair snow mold on the lawn: When snow lingers on the lawn for too long, especially when the large piles of snow sat for months, the grass can become infected. The best thing to do is lightly rake the area to break up the mold and promote some air flow. The new grass growth will quickly fill in. Problem solved.

Pruning: As soon as the weather begins to warm up in late winter and very early spring, plants should be uncovered (if covering took place at you fall clean up) and any dead dying or broken limbs should be pruned. Roses may also be pruned at this time. The goal is to encourage new growth, and “open it up” allowing air movement and sunlight to reach the inner limbs. Shrub roses are more forgiving than hybrid roses; they can be cut back almost half way with little worry.   One thing you DON’T want to do, is prune your Lilacs, Forsythias, or anything that blooms on old wood!  They set their buds for the bloom season, in the summer prior. If you prune them in before they bloom in spring, they will not bloom this season! The closest you’ll get to enjoy the sweet smell of a lilac, is if you happen to walk past your neighbors! These shrubs are best left to a late spring/early summer pruning, just after they have bloomed.

mulch scuPlant bed maintenance: Winter can be unkind to decorative plant and mulch beds. Remove any winter mulch or covering branches. Before new growth emerges, cut back plants that were left up for winter interest (Hydrangea, grasses, Sedum, Etc…). If any plants have been pushed out of the ground or heaved due to freezing and thawing in the soil, replant them. Do not step on them to push them back into the ground; you will only damage them.

Mulching right away in spring, evaluate if you need mulch added, will help reduce water use and weeding later in the season. Too much mulch is not a great thing though—so from time to time, skip a year!

Pre-emergent weed control can save you hours of time through the summer. We recommend a natural product called corn gluten. Applied at the recommended rate it is effective at reducing weeds and serves as a nitrogen fertilizer.

“Who’s got time for all of that?” Ready or not, spring is here! If you don’t have adequate time to get your yard and garden prepared correctly, and in a timely manner, we are here to help you! Your yard will thank you and your neighbors will envy your yard come summer. Now, who doesn’t want that?