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How to Prepare Your Yard for Spring

How to Prepare Your Yard for Spring

Exterior renovationsHow to Prepare Your Yard for Spring

Naturally, one welcomes spring with open arms after such a harsh winter. If this magnificent season brings with reason its share of small pleasures, it also brings with it many essential tasks to accomplish to prepare your backyard well for the arrival of warm weather. Learn how to proceed with your backyard spring cleaning. 

Backyard Spring-Cleaning Stages

1- Clean surfaces

Preparing your ground for spring

Source: Canva

With all the organic materials that settle on the pavers, cement or natural stones and that remain on these surfaces during all winter months, it is certain that their cleaning will be essential to remove the dirt embedded in them. To do this, use a pressure washer. Although the use of a garden hose can do the job, the use of a pressure washer will certainly give better results.

For your sidewalks, driveway or patio, the cleaning may have removed some of the polymer sand between the gaps between the slabs or pavers. If this is the case, add more and drench it so that it solidifies and can effectively fulfill its role of protection against weeds.

2- Prune and trim trees and shrubs

While it is possible to prune trees throughout the year, it is sometimes recommended to wait until early spring or winter to do this type of work. Trees that produce edible flowers or fruits should ideally be pruned during these periods.

Note that the same recommendation applies if your pruning project involves an area of more than 20% of your tree, regardless of its variety. In fact, if you have an apple tree, pruning it in early spring is essential to ensure that a good amount of sap circulates inside the tree and that it can result in a successful apple crop.

For your trees and shrubs to grow well, it is essential to prune them in accordance with certain basic rules. The first and probably the most important of all: never cut branches more than a third of their length.

Second, clean your tools after trimming a shrub. To do this, use a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol (in equal parts). Although this kind of precaution is often overlooked, it is an essential measure to prevent the spread of disease from one tree to another. To avoid injuring your eyes, bring a pair of goggles. Finally, remember to cut all damaged or diseased branches at the base.

Need more information about pruning your trees and shrubs? Take a look at our article Tree Pruning: Why, When and How?

3- Prune perennials

Preparing your ground for spring

Source: Canva

Some perennials can be pruned in the spring, as is the case for hydrangeas or grasses. Be sure to do so as early as possible during the spring. Otherwise, the new foliage will grow and mix with the dead leaves, which will complicate your work. As an indication, perennials should be cut to a height of 4 to 5 inches. Instead, ornamental plants should be cut when they reach 2 or 3 inches in height.

Are your plants especially bushy? Divide them, you can use the extra plants to better garnish the rest of your flowerbeds. This will allow you to complete your landscaping at a low cost.

4- Lawn care and maintenance

Preparing your ground for spring

Source: Canva

When it comes to maintaining your lawn, let's start by reminding you of the importance of letting it breathe with the arrival of spring. To accomplish this task, you will need to cut your lawn very short. Wait until it has reached a height of 10 cm to do so if planted, or 5 cm otherwise.

Once mowed, run an aerator over the surface of the lawn in cross-motions. The use of this circular and spiked device will create small holes in the grass and thus promote airway and water seepage beneath the ground.

To make your lawn look beautiful, when mowing, remove the grass bag from your lawn mower. This will allow the cut grass to scatter on your land to act as a natural fertilizer and feed your soil.

If certain areas of your lawn are damaged, remove and reseed. To seed, prioritize hot days and add about 1/2 inch of compost to the soil. You can also buy peat moss that you can lay by following our recommendations on the subject

Then, don't forget to have fertilizer on the ground when seasonal temperatures are stable and warm enough. Finally, to prevent weeds from proliferating on your lawn, treat them. However, if you have just planted your new lawn, wait a few weeks before going forth with this method.

Want more information on the price of peat? Check out our article Landscaping Project: The Cost of Peat Moss.

5- Remove shrub winter covers

Preparing your ground for spring

Source: Canva

As shrubs need to breathe when the summer season arrives, you should soon remove their covers as soon as the weather allows for it. Otherwise, they could be affected by heat and dry out. Moreover, it is strongly recommended to do so before the first bloom to avoid damaging the buds.

Are your trees staked? While these allow young trees to take root well, it is advisable to remove them during the spring, one year after planting. This gives the trees the chance to strengthen their roots in the soil.

6- Clean and maintain your flowerbeds

backyard spring cleaning

Source: Canva

Since a good amount of dead leaves will litter the soil of your flowerbeds, you will need to remove them with a small rake. Then, to ensure that your flowers have the appropriate conditions to flourish, add fertilizer to your flowerbeds and be sure to re-soil any roots that have risen during the winter. Finally, if you added mulch to your soil, it is high time to replace it with a brand new layer if it's too deteriorated or simply add to it if necessary.

Keep in mind that mulch plays a primary role in aerating the soil and controlling its moisture level, as well as providing effective protection against weed growth. Note that applying compost or fertilizer and a layer of mulch favour the growth of your favourite flowers!

Thinking of designing new flowerbeds? Read our article 5 Tips for Arranging Your Flowerbeds and you'll find the inspiration you need!

7- Turn on the sprinkler system

Do you have a sprinkler system? You can start it up again right around mid-May. To ensure it's in good working order, test the nozzles one by one.

Over time, your nozzles may damage or misalign. In the latter case, you should replace them. If it's simply a case of misalignment, lift the nozzle out of its slot and make the necessary readjustments with a screwdriver.

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Last modified 2023-11-07

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