The winter from which we are just emerging is more reminiscent of past winters than they are of the winter of 2011-2012. In harsher winters, our yards are probably going to need more spring cleanup than they did last spring.
Living near Lake Ontario, I probably received more snowfall than those of you who live more inland. However, you probably had just as much high wind as we did. This means more cleanup.
Wait until all the snow melts and the ground hardens up a bit so you don’t leave footprints in your lawn. Then go out, walk the property and make a list of what should be cleaned up.
The easiest chore will be trash pickup. The winds probably brought more trash into your yard from the neighbors’ yards and the roadside. There may also be twigs and branches to rake up, some of which came from your yard and some from the neighbors’. While checking on twigs and branches, look up into your own trees for broken branches. If any are cracked, broken or hanging on other branches, call us to remove them before they fall and cause damage. Don’t climb up there yourself or try to pull them down from the ground or they could fall on you.
If you didn’t finish all your leaf raking last fall, or if the wind blew more leaves into your yard, rake then up this spring and either compost them or send they to the landfill. While checking your lawn, also look for bare spots and diseases (subject of another blog coming up).
Check the gutters of your house to be sure there are no twigs, branches or leaves clogging them. You will certainly need clean gutters as April showers begin.
This is also a good time to take a lawn rake and fluff up the mulch in your planting beds. If you added extra mulch in the fall to help insulate plants, this is the time to remove that extra mulch so you only have a maximum of three inches. While working in your planting beds, pull weeds that are either left over from last fall or popped up already this spring.
As you pull out your patio furniture, give it a good cleaning, or at least a hosing. You will likely get some help from Mother Nature when it rains.
Walking your property is a great way to discover cleanup projects that we haven’t mentioned here because they may be unique to your property. You might even get some ideas for improvements while doing spring cleanup. So, don’t slack off on spring cleanup. It could be the best thing you do for your yard this spring.