Spring cleaning your yard

gardenSpring is right around the corner and now is the time of year when we emerge from our homes to find our yards in disarray. Winter isn’t usually kind to your shrubs, lawn, or garden. Follow these tips to get your yard ready for spring:

  • Make a list: Before you head to your local home improvement or garden center, make a list of everything you need for the chores that you plan to undertake. A list eliminates the need to make multiple trips because you forgot something.
  • Leaves and branches: I have an oak tree that borders my back yard. The leaves seem to hang onto the limbs well into February, so I’m left with a bunch of leaves that fell during the coldest months of the year. Hopefully, you got your leaves under control at the end of autumn so this chore does not take too long.
  • Mind the edges: Nice clean borders seem to blur during winter. If you do this job correctly now it will be easier to maintain those nice clean edges in the months to come.
  • Fertilize: Depending on the size of your yard, fertilizing may be a quick step or a step you might consider avoiding. I have a pretty small back yard. Fertilizing my lawn takes all of 10 or 15 minutes. But, if you have a yard that resembles the back nine at Augusta, you may want to let nature do its thing and not fertilize.
  • Go low maintenance: If you don’t enjoy spending your spare time in your yard, take a shot at a low maintenance shrubs and flowers. Check out the articles we have written on this topic in the past to get some ideas — and be sure to read the comments, which are full of even more suggestions.

What are some of the things you do to get your yard ready for spring? Share your tips in the comments.

13 Comments for “Spring cleaning your yard”

  1. posted by Sherri (Serene Journey) on

    Hi Matt,
    Great list. We do a lot of tilling, raking, fertilizing and trimming of trees. We also have a tree out the front that holds onto its seeds until well into spring so that’s always a big mess to clean up.

    It’s lovely though and I always look forward to this time of year when we can get out and spend a substantial amount of time out there at a go. Off to check out the low maintenance articles. Thanks!

  2. posted by falnfenix on

    i’ve got to build boxes for my veggies this year. we’re devoting almost a third of our side yard to vegetables.

    so: boxes need to be built, and i’ve got to till/dig up and remove the existing dirt where the boxes are destined to be.

    we’re getting dirt from the dump for cheap (i HIGHLY recommend this!).

  3. posted by Catherine Cantieri, Sorted on

    Good advice for getting the garden ready for the pre-season ๐Ÿ™‚ I remember what our landscape designer told us: “Low maintenance doesn’t mean *no* maintenance.” Just about anything worth achieving is going to take some doing — and I think that applies to staying uncluttered as well as staying on top of the garden.

  4. posted by Mark Houston Recovery on

    Hey Matt-

    Great advice ๐Ÿ™‚ I think the hardest part of this, however, is (as always) getting started!

  5. posted by prairiegal on

    No yard work for another two months, at least! Still battling flurries here.

    – Lots of love from north of the 49th

  6. posted by Tabitha (From Single to Married) on

    What a great list! I need to add: paint the porch and fix the gate to our list. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully this will be the season when we finally get it done! Thanks for the reminder…

  7. posted by Laura on

    Does anyone have any tips for cleaning up pine needles? Our neighbour’s tree provided terrific shade in the summer but a lot pine needles to tidy up now.

  8. posted by alana on

    Aside from the time-saving aspect, moving away from lawn saves a lot of water. Lawn is just not a natural type of growth in many parts of the country, it’s a leftover artefact from stately homes in England, a place where there is rarely a short supply of rain. We’re running out of water for people to drink, so it seems pretty selfish to waste a lot of it watering grass if you can avoid it. If you have to have your lawn, you could look into greywater systems so you can keep it green with used water from your shower or washing machine.

  9. posted by Lori Paximadis on

    I have a lot of general cleanup to do — our backyard and side yards are woods, so there are always lots of downed branches and blown leaves to clear out.

    The previous owners weren’t the brightest when it came to … well … a lot of things … especially landscaping. Last year I made a list of things that need to be moved (like the little cherry tree two feet from the foundation) or pulled out (a few dead bushes, because they were planted in a mound, so the rainwater runs off and they die of thirst); this year is the year to get all that done.

    I’ve got to go around and add a few more things to the list this spring, too, then prioritize everything.

  10. posted by Taylor at Household Management 101 on

    Creating a list is one of the best ways to start any spring cleaning project. Thanks for the great ideas regarding outdoor projects now that the sun is shining and the birds are chirping. Yay, it’s spring!

  11. posted by A Very Simple Roundup Volume One. | Simple. Organized. Life. on

    […] Spring cleaning your yard from Unclutterer. (I know this one well, I have been doing it all week!) Share and Enjoy: […]

  12. posted by Glen on

    Consider setting up some bluebird boxes (google for instructions) and a bird feeder to enjoy our feathered friends!

  13. posted by seaglassblue on

    To Laura — pine needles make great mulch. They can be raked right where you want them, and they stay put better than leaves.

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