With the weather finally making the transition from winter to spring in most areas of Vancouver, Camas, and Washougal, Washington, it is time to start preparing your lawn and yard for the coming season. It is easy for most of us to forget about our landscapes during the winter months, but spring often reminds us that we may have been neglecting our yards. In this article, we will discuss 7 spring yard tips for cleaning up and improving your landscape.
Often, it can be a challenge to determine where to begin when preparing your yard for spring. We’ve always found that the best place to start is assessing your landscape. Are there piles of debris lying about? Downed branches throughout your lawn? Trash in your yard? Weeds growing in your flowerbeds? These are all great things to make note of in your initial assessment.
Once you have noted all of the problem areas, you can begin to tackle each task, one at a time. Start by removing and disposing of any large, woody material (like branches) from your yard. After this, you can rake up and remove any debris that has been lingering in your yard. Leaves, dead plant life, and other such debris should be removed and disposed of in their respective locations. Next, you can focus on the weeds growing in flower or garden beds. Using a tool or by hand, systematically remove all of the undesirable plants around your property. Dispose of the unwanted plant growth in a compost bin, dump site, or have a local landscaper remove it for you.
Mow and Edge
Now that you have cleaned up your yard a bit and removed any debris from off of the lawn, you can mow. Mow slightly shorter than you normally do for your first spring mow (this helps ensure the effectiveness of the next steps). Once the yard is thoroughly mowed, you can clean up the edges of your lawn to give it a manicured look. This can be achieved with a manual or powered edger or by simply using your string trimmer.
Dethatching is an important process that helps to ensure the health of your lawn and should be performed, at the minimum, annually. This can be performed with a manual thatch rake or a power rake. When you dethatch your lawn, you are removing excess debris (thatch) which has built up in your lawn. Thatch blocks sunlight and other nutrients from penetrating the roots of your lawn, so removing it is a priority if having a lush lawn is your goal. Once the thatch has been loosened, rake all of it into piles, and dispose of it.
Aerating goes hand-in-hand with dethatching; it is also a process that should be performed, at least, yearly. Aerating can also be performed manually or with a powered aerator. Aerating is the simple process of pulling plugs from your lawn. Pulling plugs from your lawn leaves tiny holes throughout the lawn. These holes allow light, moisture, and other necessary nutrients to reach further into your lawn, ensuring the health of your turf. The plugs that are pulled can be removed but are generally left to decompose and add further nutrients to the lawn.
Overseed and Fertilize
After your lawn has been mowed, dethatched, and aerated, it is a great time to overseed your lawn. Overseeding simply means you are applying seed over your already established lawn. This is done to ensure your lawn is full and lush and, quite often, improves the overall look of your lawn. Once the seed has been applied, you can further encourage the health of your lawn by applying organic fertilizer. Fertilizer will help supplement any nutrients that your lawn may be lacking. Lastly, cover your lawn with a topdressing to ensure wind or animals do not carry away your grass seed.
A great way to stave off weed growth is to never allow it to start. One organic way to slow the growth and spread of undesirable plants is to apply a thick layer of mulch. A 2” layer of your favorite mulch will not only inhibit weed growth, but it will also give your yard a “completed” and well-cared for look. There are many types of mulch on the market and many forms that each type can come in as well. Take your time and decide on which mulch you like best.
Trim and Prune
The best time to trim and prune bushes, trees, and shrubs is during dormancy. Dormancy generally occurs in winter. However, if you’ve neglected to do this task, doing it in the earliest of the spring season is acceptable. How a plant is trimmed or pruned will depend on a few factors; most notably, your taste and the needs of the plant itself.
If you can complete all of these tasks, you will be off to a great start in having a happy and healthy yard this spring. If this all seems too daunting of a task, Urban Eden Landscaping would love to assist you! Call us today at (360)567-6399, contact us here, or fill out our FREE estimate request online.