BACKYARD CLEAN UP TIPS
It is the busiest time of year for spring yard clean-up, regardless of the weather. Like many of you, I have neglected my backyard for four or five months, unsure why. My solitary backyard is a hot mess. Now it is time for a backyard clean up.
The following list of ten hints covers all you need to know right now, from trimming to preventing crabgrass. With your busy schedules, you can do a proper backyard cleaning smartly.
#1. TRIM IN THE WINTER AND THE BEGINNING OF SPRING
Make sure to cut any broken or seriously scarred branches that winter’s snow has damaged and ice in late winter if you have not already done so. All evergreen shrubs and trees should have unwanted lower extensions removed at the end of the winter.
However, not all trees and shrubs clip in the winter or spring. Do you have any shrubs with blooms? A shrub’s blooming season and whether it flowers on current or prior year’s growth determine when it should cut.
- HARDENLY trim summer-flowering bushes AFTER new growth! They flower on “new” wood. Some examples are butterfly bush, hydrangeas, and roses.
- Remove spring-flowering bushes after blooming. Because they blossom on the previous season’s growth (old wood), trimming too early can remove their buds and blooms. E.g., Azaleas, forsythia, hydrangeas, lilacs, and wisteria.
#2. EASILY CLEAN UP LEAVES
After the fall, many trees continue to lose leaves far into the spring. Let’s not go crazy cleaning up every leaf from our yard to win the neighborhood beauty competition. Leaves help bees and animals survive the winter. Owning a clean backyard makes your heart cool.
Remove any trash or large leaf piles or layers. Mold, illness, and rot thrive here. But do not rake into a puddle. Wait until temps hit the upper 40s or 50s. If you compost, add those leaves. If not, sweep any thin layers of leaves in with the first cut of the season.
Wait until spring arrives before removing spent perennial stems from your flower beds. In the leaf litter and hollow plant stems, beneficial insects and predators “hibernate.” They’ll “wake up” as the weather warms and the daylight increases. Cut the spent plant stems and scatter them in your yard or woods if you can’t wait.
#3. GET RID OF AGGRESSIVE WEEDS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
In the early spring, take care of any weed problems. Summer’s longer days will further exacerbate invasive or aggressive weeds already present. As they develop, their roots will get more solid, making it more difficult to remove them.
The most effective approach to control weeds in your lawn is to adopt excellent cultural practices:
- Trim not too short
- Allow cuttings from the mower to return to the grass
- Omit spring fertilizing
- Avoid going overboard or submerging yourself
- Consider planting wildflowers in a specific area of your yard
You can also use a standard or organic “pre-emergent” herbicide. Pre-emergents should apply when the soil temperature is 55°F for five days (often in March and April). Annual weed seeds germinate at 55°F soil temperatures. Pre-emergent herbicides are ineffective once weeds are visible. By doing this, you can own a clean backyard.
#4. CAREFULLY SEEDING BARE PATCHES
Winter may reveal pet, snow plow, and road damage to your yard. You may need to reseed. The problem is that pre-emergent crabgrass herbicides are nonselective and can kill grass seeds, which is why fall is the best season to sow grass. If you must have bare patches, consider planting them as early as possible (by April) before applying any pre-emergent crabgrass management.
To prepare for seeding, use a steel rake. Wet the dirt. Scrape some compost in. Grass seeds the area. (Unless heavily shaded, use a sun/shade premium mix.) Keep moist. Cover with straw matting. Grass clippings are fine. Just cover the area with something to keep the seeds in place.
#5. RAKE AWAY THATCH—ONLY AFTER IT HAS DRIED
It’s too early to talk about thatch, yet we must because many do so. The matted regions that have perished might contain snow mold. No more than 12 inches of thatch on the ground. Raking encourages air circulation, prevents illness, and aids germination. Raking up grass seeds causes more harm than benefit if the soil and grass are wet. If you can still see tracks after walking, it’s too wet. However, raking too late will damage healthy roots.
#6. DO NOT FERTILIZE EARLY ENOUGH
The optimum time to fertilize is in the fall when grass plants require nourishment to grow roots. But many people fertilize in the spring. Do not fertilize your lawn or garden too early in the spring. Too much energy is directing on leaf growth at an inopportune time.
In most areas, late spring (about May) is the optimum time for the initial spring treatment to create a lush, green lawn. Fertilize before the summer heats up and after the grass grows well. It allows the plant to replenish its food supply.
#7. DECOMPRESS THE SOIL IF IT IS COMPACTED
Your garden soil may be entirely compact after the winter. Remove heavy leaf layers from evergreen ground cover beds. Leaves in your gardens can be left alone and subsequently mulched. They’ll decompose and enrich your soil. Leak the earth to enable oxygen to reach the roots. If you have significant regions, tilling may be better than using hand tools.
A grassland receives compacted soil from foot traffic. It enables more infiltration of water and oxygen into the root zone, resulting in increased root development and growth.
#8. RECREATE BED — USING A GARDEN HOSE
In the spring, redraw the border between your garden beds and lawn. Less lawn maintenance with more expansive beds. How to do it yourself: Mark your garden plots with a garden hose. Then, down this bed line, push a sharp metal edger as deep as it will go. Dig along the hose line, and then clear the grass to make a beautiful bed. After that, cover the bed with 2 to 3 inches of mulch (pine bark is ideal); otherwise, you’ll have a weed bed! Then it’s time to move or plant perennials.
#9. GREEN UP—BUT NOT TOO QUICKLY
2 to 3-inch tall grass: cut the grass of the yard. After the winter, the lawn needs rest. Too much grass shadows the roots, allowing fewer weed seeds to germinate. Spring is the time to clean your lawn mower’s filter and spark plugs. For a clean-cut, sharpen the mower blade every month or two. If you merely tear the grass, you expose it to fungus and disease.
#10. MULCH—WITH CARE
Similarly, don’t mulch too early. Wait. Soldier beetles, native bees, and hummingbird clearwing moths are just a few of the valuable insects and pollinators that overwinter in your garden. Wait till the soil dries up and the weather warms up before mulching.
We mulch after edging our beds and pruning our bushes. Then mulch it or replace your old mulch. Brown wood chips are preferable to a thick mulch-like hardwood bark. They last longer and look better.
According to housekeeping tips keeping your backyard clean and friendly is necessary. Otherwise, it will give a wrong idea to your visitants about you. With your busy days, you may not have enough time to clean your backyard regularly. But once you make it pleasant and do it properly, you can maintain it with simple effort. Every time you may not need the hand for backyard cleaning from the professionals. Follow the above simple hacks and get your lawn a charming view.