Some Tips For Lawn Cleanup

Brown or dead lawn areas need attention now too.  Dig patches up and prepare to re-seed if your freezing season isn’t over yet, or replant dead spots with pre-grown turf.   Uugghh, the dreaded crab grass – Lawn Cleanup is perfect timing to outwit this devil!  Research what works best for your climate and growing area with your local nursery.

Re-attach anything that has come loose – irrigation pipes, sprinkler systems, water barrels, eaves troughs’ on your roofs on greenhouse, home, tool shed or garden shed.

Removing a tree stump – Pour salt on it until it just goes away (this can take a long time of daily ‘salting’), or have it removed professionally instead of digging it out yourself to reduce lawn damage.

Pressure wash your garden paths, porches, patios, decks and walkways, refill rock or gravel between concrete slabs on paths, patios or walkways, tighten deck screws, repair brickwork or brick walls, trellis and lattices, decking, concrete slabs, or decorative stones.

Repaint fences, re-stain decks, get rid of mold, damaged posts, repair broken fence boards, fence pickets, lattice-work, take care of outdoor wood damage, then wash it well with bleach, soap and water.  If you paint wood and it freezes then add another coat of paint later to give your outdoor wood a better chance to survive throughout the coming months.

Prune away those winter-dead branches to make room for new growth.

Cut back used and dead perennials and pull up old annuals if you didn’t do this chore last fall.  Look around your garden area, plant beds and growing areas.  March Spring cleanup time is the best time to take inventory of your yard and check if it’s time to thin crowded beds and fill in bare spots with transplanting.   Go ahead and get rid of your tree burlap from shrubs and trees when you find that the winter weather is warming up.

Prune dead and useless tree and shrub branches.  Winter weather elements will have taken their toll on these, so prune them right down to the live stems so you have fresh growth ready for new Spring shoots.  Pruning smaller shrubs and branches with hand shears is best, since you get rid of all the excess outer dead-wood that keeps newer blooms from sharing the Fresh air and Spring sunshine, plus it is visually pleasing.  Larger trees overgrown from the Winter months can use the same treatment, but for those thicker branches, use sharper, larger cutting tools and/or saws.

Not all flowering shrubs and trees are equal.  Go ahead with pruning on your flowering plants, trees and shrubs, but hold off for the really dramatic cutting back branches and pruning chores until they flower.   Pruning these too early – before they flower – risks seeing their full potential for beautiful blooms when it is their own blooming season.

Experts agree that flowering perennials are best when they are cut back to 4-5 inches high.  With ornamental grasses, 2-3 inches high is best. Damaged rose canes are best cut back to approximately 1 inch underneath that winter blackened cane area.  Rule of thumb – If it’s dead and black, cut it back.

Divide and conquer over full beds and transplant those  items that over-crowd that area.  When a rose cane looks and feels like wood, it is time to cut it back past that area down to the place where it appears green and healthy again.  Now clean them up and make them look tidy with jute or twine or thin rope, or growing stands, or some of the new fastening devices made out of Velcro fasteners are great too.  Please Use recyclable materials.

Do you have dead leaves and lawn debris that you missed in your fall lawn cleanup – get rid of those things now.  Pull the plants up that didn’t make it through the winter, annuals, dead and used up shrubs and flowering trees too.

Use your organic yard waste to help give your newly cleaned borders and plant beds a fertilization and filter system for the upcoming Spring rain showers.  This is also the time when we either remove and replace, or just remove our existing mulch.  We learned that his step is best when you are most confident that the freezing weather has passed.

Compost Your March Spring lawn cleanup – Be Careful of flowering spring weeds that might wreck your life by growing back in triplicate!  Keep your compost pile moist and approximately twice a month, run a pitchfork through it to keep stench down and compost primed.  Break down branches and leaves – Shredders and mulchers do great work.  If you can’t afford one, go in with a neighbor and share the cost.

If you have more garden and yard debris then you can compost then recycle it.  Check with your local recycling center, garbage delivery, or local nursery to find out what works best in your city.

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