Spring Cleaning

March 25, 2013

Late February and early March it is time to start gearing up for the coming spring.  When temperatures begin to rise and the days begin to lengthen, it is a sign to get out into the garden and start spring cleaning in the garden.

General clean up
Over the winter, leaves and debris collect in the landscape and one final clean up is usually necessary to rid the garden of collected debris.    

Irrigation Maintenance
Irrigation contractors get extremely busy in the spring so it can be good to make armaments early so that your system can be functioning before our temperatures warm up. Turning on the irrigation system early is a great way to, make any adjustments, spot any problems or repairs that need to be addressed. 

Lighting Maintenance
There is a growing trend towards LED landscape lights which don’t tend to require much care, but for those who have older systems, there will always be an ongoing task of replacing light bulbs. While cleaning up the garden, you should remember to check all of your light bulbs and reposition any of your fixtures that might have gotten shifted throughout the year.  

Water Feature Cleanout
Whether you have a birdbath, water fountain or pond and waterfall, they usually need a cleaning once or twice a year.  Fountains that have been shut down for the winter can be cleaned and restarted making it a great time to look for, and make, any necessary repairs to them.

The early spring is the time to cut back any grasses or perennials that you left standing during the winter months.  By cutting back the dead, you will freshen up the look of the plant and rejuvenate the plant for new growth in the spring. Many trees and shrubs can also be trimmed back in the spring.  It is important to know what plants you are pruning on because if you are not careful, you can cut off the flower buds for spring flowering plants such as Dogwoods, Lilacs, Rhododendrons and Azaleas.  Many plants like Roses, Crape Myrtles, Butterfly Bushes and many evergreen shrubs can be cut back before they begin to grow for the year.

Each year it is a good idea to fertilize the plants in your landscape with a slow release fertilizer.  This will add back in beneficial nutrients that may have leached out of the soil over the year.

Pre-emergent Herbicide
Products such as Preen or Treflan can been added early in the year to inhibit unwanted seed germination in the garden.  This can drastically cut down on the amount of weeds that will grow in your landscape.

Once you have all of your general clean up and site maintenance done, it is time to mulch. 

I sometimes don’t think people understand the true benefits of a well mulched landscape, but there are many benefits to a properly mulched landscaped. Not only does it help to control weeds, but it also helps with moisture control and when it breaks down it ads beneficial nutrients into the soil.

Be sure to use a premium hardwood mulch when choosing a mulch.  Some lower quality mulches as well as wood chips have large chunks in them and look unsightly and are slow to break down.


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Spring Cleaning
March 25, 2013

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