Spring Cleanup Essentials

It’s that time of year again, and thank goodness! The warm weather is back, the sun is shining, and the days are getting longer. What a long, cold, and dark winter it was. Every year as spring comes around it seems like we’re instinctually awakened to the same routine – get outside and get the yard ready for the wonderful weather that is to come.

This article is mainly for the new homeowners among us. All of the veterans have been through this many times before and probably won’t need ay guidance. If you are a veteran, it may still be worth reading for entertainment, but I doubt you’ll get anything new here. For all you amateur homeowners though, it’s time to put on your listening ears and get educated. Here’s what you’re going to have to do:

Clean Up The Fall Debris

If you did your literal “home work” in the fall, you should have gotten rid of the bulk of the leaves from the end of the season and either composted them or had them hauled off with the yard waste. Usually though there are some stragglers to clean up in the spring, particularly around the bases of the trees and bushes and in the corner of the garden. It’s understandable – the main concern in the fall is to get the leaves up off the lawn. There is even potentially some benefit to leaving leaves around bushes and trees for the winter as a protective layer.

Now that we’re trying to get the yard looking nice, it’s time to do the final clean and get rid of all of those leaves. While you’re at it, you’ll notice that many of the plants that died off will leave behind yellow or brown leaves. Now is your opportunity to cut those back as well. Not only will it look cleaner, but it will make room for the foliage to grow back in full strength this season.

Lay Down Fresh Mulch

Once your garden beds are clean you’ll want to give them a face lift with a nice fresh helping of mulch. There are many types of mulch out there, and really what ends up being most important is the color of the mulch you choose. You want it to go well with the color scheme of your home, garden, and landscaping. Be wary of cheap knock-offs that use dyes to get their color. The dye will run off after the first heavy rain. Stick with mulch from trees like cedar, hemlock, or redwood (unless of course you find something a little less common that is suitable).

You’re going to need a lot of mulch in many cases, so it’s worth considering buying in bulk. You’ll want to put down layers 2-3″ thick at a minimum, and 4″ is preferred. Leave a little space where the trunks of your bushes meet the ground so that they can breath. Make sure you wear gloves when you’re spreading, as the mulch can really irritate your skin in some cases.

Refresh The Stonework

The finishing touch in terms of landscaping is to make sure your stonework is back in perfect order. The orientation and layout may have slipped over the winter, with all the snowfall and ice formation that happens. Not to mention any accidental movements caused by human fault when you’re trying to clear snow or move around a snowblower. Get the rocks in place so that they look just right in terms of orientation.

You’ll also notice that your rocks aren’t necessarily the cleanest after a serious snow melt. The surfaces can become dull and covered with a layer of dirt, this is quite commonplace in fact. The best way to take care of this is to give them a once-over with a pressure washer. You may already have one after reading our last post, but if you are still in need you can check out TBEPW’s guide. You don’t want to use any detergent for this step as it can be harmful to the plants in your garden, and it can be incredibly difficult to wash out of the soil if you do.

So, young Padwan, do you think you have what it takes? The time to get your yard sparkling clean is now. Will you rise to the occasion? Or will you fall to the wayside? Your yard’s fate is in your hands.