Winter can leave your yard and garden in need of a little (or a lot of) TLC. Before you jump in and start working, however, you should first check your yard and garden tools to make sure they are in good working order. Clean, sharp garden tools will not only make your job easier, but your tools will last longer. Keeping your pruners and loppers clean and sharp is also must to keep your plants healthy. Spring is also the time to perform general maintenance on your lawn mower. If you have an electric mower, maintenance can be as simple as cleaning and sharpening your lawn mower blade, and cleaning the underside of the mower deck. If you have a gas lawnmower, you’ll want to also change the oil, air filter, and spark plug. Not that handy? Consider a professional tune-up to keep your lawn mower working at its best.
Divide and Conquer Your Yard
As the weather warms up, take a stroll around your yard and look critically at what needs to be done. It’s often a good idea to write everything down. If you have a small yard, you can probably skip this step. However, if you have a larger area, or maybe some overgrown areas, knowing where to start can be a bit more daunting. Picking an area and then working it start to finish is perhaps the easiest and most satisfying method, as you can see progress fairly quickly. If you’re more disciplined, you might want to work by task instead. For example, clearing leaves and debris, pulling weeds, then trimming and pruning.
Get to Work
Not sure where to start? Here are just a few yard and garden tasks to tackle in spring:
- Remove broken branches, dead annuals, and any old fruit from last season.
- Rake leaves and small twigs from lawns and garden beds.
- Pull weeds now while they are small and the roots are shallow.
- Trim and prune trees and shrubs as needed (except for spring blooming shrubs). If you have questions about what and when to prune, ask your local garden center expert.
- Transplant any perennials now before they begin to leaf out.
- Repair raised beds and trellises.
- Clean out pots and planters.
- Spread out organic mulch to keep weeds from germinating.
- Add compost (organic plant material and/or animal manure) if your ground is workable and not too wet or frozen.
Is it Time to Plant Yet?
Although some people like to weed and prune, for many of us the real joy comes from planting and watching our plants grow. When you can start planting depends on where you live and what you want to grow. For many regions, early spring is the time to plant trees and shrubs, and cool season veggie crops. Not sure what to plant when? Check out this planting calendar that is customizable for your region.