spring cleaning, home maintenance, yard, projects, patio furniture

5 Steps for Tackling Spring Yard Cleanup and Gearing Up for Summer

Temperatures are inching up! With winter weather nearly in the rearview mirror, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get a head start on yard projects. Follow these five critical steps in anticipation of enjoying more time outdoors!

Step 1. Deal with Debris

Even if you did a comprehensive fall clean-up, months of winter weather could leave the neatest of yards appearing untidy in the spring. Here are the first items to check off your list!

__ Collect dead leaves that have accumulated along the edges of walls and fences, in corners, and under bushes.

__ Pick up fallen branches and twigs. If you have pines, walnuts, sweet gums, sycamores, or other seed-bearing trees, you may need to collect and discard these too.

__ Grab any litter. Stray plastic bags or other debris may have magically dropped or blown into your yard.

__ If you have a dog and didn’t pick up their droppings in the yard over the winter, it’s time to catch up!

Step 2. Thin and Trim

In addition to collecting loose debris on the ground, early spring is the best time to clear out other undesirable plant materials.

__ Remove dead stalks from perennials and ornamental grasses to make way for a new, fresh season of growth.

__ Prune your shrubs and bushes to maintain a neat appearance. Go ahead and remove any dead or damaged branches, but hold off on pruning back spring-flowering shrubs until they’ve bloomed. 

__ Rake your lawn with a leaf rake to help control thatch build-up.

__ Consider hiring an arborist to evaluate larger trees. An arborist can help you preserve these living assets by recommending how and when to prune, depending on the species.

Step 3. Set the Stage for the Season

Your yard will look its best from spring through fall if you take steps now to help ensure you get your desired results.

__ Fertilize your lawn. Many products, including traditional fertilizers and organic options, can help your grass grow lush and healthy. 

__ Compost is an excellent alternative to fertilizer when lightly dispersed across your lawn. You can also spread compost more thickly on flower beds, vegetable gardens, or as a mulch around tree trunks.

__ Check the edges where your lawn meets planting beds or mulched areas under trees. Spring is the perfect time to reposition any edging materials that moved out of place or install new edging

__ Prep your containers. Take inventory of the containers you already own and what you’ll need to grow a beautiful decorative container garden collection or for fruits and vegetables

Step 4. Clean and Crisp!

It’s easy for dirt to accumulate over the winter months. So take advantage of comfortable spring temperatures to prep your yard and gear up for summer activities.

__ Uncover your patio furniture or bring it out of storage. Give everything a good scrubbing and wash or replace any worn cushions.

__ Wash windows, so they sparkle and allow more light to enter your home. If you have screens, clean them too!

__ Scrub outdoor surfaces. Driveways, sidewalks, decks, and patios can benefit from a spring cleaning. Power washers can make these tasks faster and improve your results. 

__ Clean the exterior walls and gutters too. If you’re using a power washer, adjust the setting for your home’s siding material (lighter pressure for wood; heavier for brick).

Step 5. Pick Your Projects

Spring is a perfect time to plan summer yard projects. First, inspect your home’s exterior to see what needs attention and consider features you’d like to add.

__ Home maintenance. Repair any damage to siding, soffits, and gutters. Extend the life of your driveway or tackle painting projects, including your front door.

__ Gardens and landscaping. How would you like to enhance your yard? Plan now to add features like a new fence, raised garden beds, a trellis, a rain barrel, or new shrubs and trees.

__ Outdoor entertaining. Prepare for summer fun by tackling a new DIY patio, building a deck, or keeping your current deck looking its best. Also, consider adding outdoor lighting in anticipation of warm summer nights.

__ Major renovations. Spring is also an excellent time to plan for significant exterior home renovation projects, like adding a new roof or replacing your garage door or windows. Again, talk to contractors early, so you can make the best selection and get a spot on their schedule.