Spring is finally here! (Knock on wood.) With the warming temps and sun shining, Punxsutawney Phil- of groundhog fame- might actually be right. Spring could be coming early this year.
The only downside of spring is when the snow melts and the brown grass pokes through. You might think it might be too early to work on your yard, but now is the perfect time to get it ready for summer. Ever heard the phrase, “The early bird gets the worm?” Never has that been truer in preparing your garden or yard.
They don’t call it spring cleaning for nothing. The first step is to clean out your yard. Remove all left over leaves from fall, big branches and other trash that may have traveled into your yard during a blustery winter. This task is best left for when the ground is not frozen so you can pick up dried leaves with ease.
Next, turn your attention to the trees. One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is not pruning the trees and shrubs. Pruning is when you cut off branches or shape a tree. And it is not just for aesthetics. How you shape your tree with affect how healthy it grows. Good pruning will encourage better fruit or flowers during the summer. Think of it like a hair cut. If you let your hair just grow and grow, it will get split ends, begin to not look healthy and be scraggly. The branches are your hair, well kept and you will have a beautiful and healthy tree.
It is easier to prune trees when they are dormant which tends to be during the winter months or early spring. Without any leaves, you can get an inside look of your tree. For shrubs, trim back any flowers or any unruly growth (like if a plant is covering a window).
The biggest thing to get rid of is any dead branches or sections of plants. A plant or tree will try to revitalize dead parts, pushing all nutrients and energy to the dead part. By cutting that off, you will increase the growth to the healthy parts of the plants.
Before the weeds start popping up put a thick layer of mulch down. Not only will this help keep rogue weeds to a minimum, but it will help create an attractive base for your yard.
The next outside step is all about beauty. Start weeding as soon as those pesky plants (if you can even call them that) start to grow. Keeping up on the weeding will make it a less painful task later. Edge your flower beds to give your yard and fresh, clean look.
The final step is to select plants. If you want to grow your plants from seed, now is the time to start growing indoors, especially if you want blooms in early summer. Plant starts can be purchased at any garden store and should not be planted until the last frost because new plants are most susceptible to harsh weather changes.
Good luck, green thumbs!