Spring cleaning can be a dreaded task, especially after a few months of neglecting your outdoor areas and spaces. Now that spring has sprung, take a walk around your yard, garden, and patio areas to assess what you’ll need to get done before summer hits.
Get a jump on the project so when the weather warms up, you’ll be able to enjoy your yard and begin planting, landscaping, hosting parties, and more without having to do last-minute cleanup!
1.) What’s Your Plan?
When you first walk into your yard, you might notice you haven’t taken a good look at your backyard in a few months. There may be more to be done than you expected. Walk around and make a list of the small and large tasks that can be taken care of right away. Plot a course of action for what can be done first, then think about what your overall goal is for some of the larger projects that arise. Also, make sure you have tools and equipment for repairing and cleaning.
- Garbage bags or wheel barrel for debris
- Tree and plant trimmers
- Hammer, screw driver, and nails for small repairs
- Wash cloth and water
- Touch-up paint for buildings
2.) Garbage and Debris
As you’re walking around, you’ll notice any garbage laying around that may have blown into your yard. Take time to clean up any trash. Leaves and brush may have been left behind from fall. Rake any plant debris lying around and bag to use in compost or save as insulator for prepping plants for winter next fall. Do you have pets? Clean up any messes they’ve made that may create obstacles later on.
3.) Assess Your Plants and Trees
How are your annual plants looking? Take time to trim and clean up their appearance, as well as the area surrounding them. Did the wind and storms damage any trees or plants? You may look around and see broken branches or a newly planted tree leaning slightly. Make sure you take any clearly broken parts of trees or plants off the plant, or pick them up from the surrounding area. Give your trees proper support (you may have to wait until the ground warms up to apply stakes for support if you live in a cold climate). Make note of any plants and trees that look like they won’t make it another season, and note where to remove and re-plant.
4.) Structure Repair and Cleanup
If you have a barn, pole barn, shed, lean-to, dog kennel, or any other type of structure in your yard that has been neglected in the last few months, check them out. Look for damage, areas to be cleaned out, and the overall look of the outside (if it will need a good washing), especially if it is an older structure. If you live in a cold climate, winter can be tough on buildings, so make sure you know of any repairs that need to be taken care of before they will need to be used for summer. Take time to clean out cobwebs, dirt and dust, or rodent-takeover. Wash windows, re-paint siding, and fix leaking roofs.
5.) Pond and Backyard Water Features
Once the ice comes off your pond or water feature, it’s time to start thinking of how you are going to prevent weeds and algae from taking over this summer. Pond herbicides are a great way to combat your problems with floating or submerged weeds. Use a pond herbicide, such as Dibrox®, to tackle duckweed, milfoil, or hydrilla. Dibrox® is quickly absorbed by the plants and you will see fast results.
If you have algae in your pond or water feature, using a chelated copper based algaecide will quickly control the filamentous algae. As the temperatures start to climb, algae can return quite often. Continue to use an algaecide, such as Mizzen®, to keep your water looking crystal clear. Lake Restoration, Inc., offers solutions to help you see clear and beautiful water in your pond or water feature all summer long.
6.) Patio Condition
If you have a porch, deck, or patio area, you probably need to clean and repair anything that needs some T.L.C before you host any summer get-togethers. Clean and wash any patio furniture you have (chairs, tables, umbrellas, cushions, etc.). Sweep and pressure wash your concrete surface, or sweep and wash your deck. If your deck looks like it could use a fresh coat of paint, plan on doing so when the weather warms up and becomes slightly more stable (avoiding rainy days). If you have plants around your patio area, make sure they are in good condition and trim them if needed. Plan where to re-plant or add to your plant area.
7.) Till Your Garden
Soil can be tilled in the spring. You must wait until the soil is dry and warm enough. You should till your garden when the dirt crumbles in your hand (indicating it is dry) and when it reaches 60°. You can also get bean stocks and tomato cages ready for when it’s time to plant.
Spring cleanup can be a bit of work depending on the amount you find needs to be done, but once you have a plan, your yard will be looking summer-ready in no time at all!