When you own a business, you always encounter stressors, which is why you need to find ways to relax. Gardening helps you relieve stress while finding fulfillment and joy.
Spring represents rebirth and renewal, which is why many people use this time to clean and plant new trees and grass. Some also start an herb or vegetable garden and expand flower beds. Your garden could use a bit of sprucing up, especially after months of dormancy during the harsh winter season. However, spring can also be a challenging time for many gardeners, especially if they’re new to the lifestyle.
You may be thinking, “Why do I have to do all this extra work during springtime? What difference does it make?” During winter, our usual gardening work stops, and debris and dead plant matter begin to accumulate. Once the snow melts, you’re left with a jumbled mess of dead leaves, stems, and branches. Not only do they look bad, but they could also harbor dormant pests and diseases that will wreak havoc on your garden.
Spring cleanup is all about preparing your garden for the rest of the year. Adopting a proactive approach to lawn care ensures a healthier garden. Here are a few tips for spring cleaning your garden.
1. Prune branches
Extreme temperature fluctuations and snow can damage and disfigure tree branches. These branches can pose a safety hazard to people and property. You need to make sure that dead branches must be removed in the early days of spring. Take this time to prune evergreen trees and shrubs so you don’t have to resculpt them later on.
While all trees have to be checked and pruned after winter, shrub pruning has to be done on a case-to-case basis. Regular shrubs can be pruned normally but you have to pay extra attention to flowering shrubs. For instance, summer shrubs have to be pruned towards the tail-end of winter. Otherwise, you could destroy new growth and flower buds. Meanwhile, wait until the spring flowers have faded before doing any pruning work.
2. Clean the yard
Most leaf cleanup is done in the fall, but many trees continue to shed leaves and branches during the winter and spring seasons. It pays to buy a commercial leaf vacuum, especially if you have a lot of trees on your property. Broken branches have to be completely cleared but you don’t have to remove every single dead leaf you find. A few stray leaves can provide a valuable source of winter food for local wildlife.
Once springtime comes around, you need to remove piles and layers of dead leaves as they could promote mold and decay in your garden. If you plan on harvesting the leaves for composting, use a vacuum as raking isn’t advisable in the early weeks of spring. But if you want to dispose of the leaves, just use a lawnmower to grind the dead matter into usable nutrition.
For perennial plants, wait a few weeks into the season before doing any cutting work. Many insects like bees and ladybugs like to hibernate in flowerbeds. As the ground thaws and the weather warms up, they will emerge from their hibernation and become active again. Cutting too early can kill these insects so you need to be careful to preserve local wildlife.
3. Limit weed growth
You need to deal with weeds right away to prevent infestations down the lines. Waiting too long could lead to weeds forming strong root systems, making them more difficult to eliminate. You need to arrest the problem before temperatures begin to rise.
To limit weed growth, you only need to follow good lawn care practices, including proper mowing height, using the right amount of water, and using mow clippings for fertilizer. You may also pre-emergent herbicide to kill the weeds before they grow. Once you see weeds in your lawn, you have to switch to traditional herbicides. Wait until the weeds have fully grown to allow for maximum absorption.
If you’re tired of dealing with weeds year after year, you can remove your grass lawn and replace it with wildflower cover. Wildflowers don’t have to be mowed every so often and can sustain itself indefinitely. Best of all, bees love to pollinate on the flowers, which only strengthens local biodiversity.
These are just some of the things you need to do after winter. Spring cleaning is equal parts daunting and tiring, but doing the necessary prep work early on makes your garden healthier throughout the year. Your grass will grow thicker and the flowers will look bigger and fuller.