Spring cleaning time is here!
Despite the uncharacteristic cold weather here in Southwest Washington in the past couple of weeks (snow and hail in April?!), warmer weather is finally on the horizon. We can almost smell the roses blooming, feel the 80º sunshine on our faces, and taste the burgers grilled on a patio barbecue. But, before we can enjoy all that the PNW Summer has to offer, we have to get our yards in tip-top shape and recover from a very wet Fall and Winter.
While it’s still raining pretty consistently, sometimes you only have a day of nice weather here and there to get outside and get some real work done in the yard. But, never fear! There are five easy things you can do in a day or two to kickstart the Spring Cleaning process.
1. Give your lawn a quick mow.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in the Spring is waiting too long to cut your grass. While substantial grass growth won’t start for another few weeks when the outside temperature is closer to 60-65º, it’s incredibly important to cut it down and get it ready for fertilizer and pre-emergent (which we’ll talk about in the next step!).
Before you mow, you should also look to see if there are any large branches, piles of leaves, or other wintertime debris that may prevent your mower from giving your lawn a “clean shave.”
2. After the first mow, lay down fertilizer and pre-emergent.
Applying a good fertilizer in the early-Spring will make sure your grass has all the nutrients it needs to grow healthy and thick throughout the warmer months.
While fertilizer may be an obvious step, something that homeowners sometimes forget is to include a pre-emergent with their fertilizing process, which is a type of herbicide designed to greatly reduce the number of weeds that can grow in your lawn. Because no one wants to spend their entire Summer pulling dandelions and fighting crabgrass!
There are lots of options at your local garden center or home improvement store that are a combination of fertilizer and pre-emergent to make application quicker and easier. And, remember, if you have outdoor pets, make sure you pick an option that is non-toxic once dry and keep your animals off the lawn for 12-24 hours after application.
3. Tend to your flower beds and planters.
Once your lawn is taken care of, it’s time to turn your attention to your beds and planters. We always recommend starting with a rake or blower to get any loose debris, like leaves and branches, out of the way so you can better assess the “damage” of wintertime. Make sure you’re picking up and hauling away all the dead stuff as you go, too!
After a good blow or rake for the initial sweep, you can then prune any dead bits from your annual plants, flowers, and trees that are summertime bloomers. Be careful not to prune those springtime bloomers, like azaleas, too early, though, or they won’t flower like they’re supposed to!
4. Pull weeds from flower beds and lay down weed killer.
After all of the loose stuff is out and plants are pruned, it’s time to tackle those pesky weeds that grew at the tail end of last Summer or early this Spring. Pull up any weeds you see and make sure you get the root so they don’t grow back. If you start this process early enough, you should catch most of the weeds before they’ve had a chance to grow and spread seeds.
After pulling weeds and getting the beds cleaned back up, you can lay down a weed killer, like Casoron or Roundup, and get some fresh mulch or bark on top.
5. Powerwash your patio and any patio furniture.
Perhaps the most important part of a backyard space is the patio where you’ll gather with family and friends and grill up your favorite barbecue food. Spring is the perfect time to power wash your patio or deck to get it looking fresh and clean for those Summer gatherings. If your patio furniture has been outside through the winter, you may want to powerwash those items, as well.
While these five steps will get you started on the right path to a beautiful yard space, there’s much more that goes into creating a perfect backyard oasis this Summer!
Need some help with getting your yard Summertime ready, or looking to give your space a total revamp before those warmer months? Greenhaven Landscapes can help turn the yard of your dreams into a reality! Call or contact us today.