The Most Important Landscape Yard Tasks for Spring 2018
Spring took it’s time to get here. Now that we see the Robins here in Michigan, it’s time to plan for the Spring Clean-Up. What should you do? well, among other things you will need to clean your beds of last falls leftover leaves, and cut back your perennials and grasses.
It’s about time to start up that irrigation system or get the hose out, however, this far north, you should wait until at least May 1. The fact is shrubs and perennials are only just beginning to emerge.
Below are the things you should do for spring 2018:
- Remove winter tree wrap from your trees. Now is a good time to remove tree stakes which you make have placed last fall.
- Never prune your trees and shrubs in the spring. The plants are budding and become more susceptible to stress and damage at this time. It’s a good idea to wait until late summer or fall to remove any dead branches and prune.
- If you cut back perennials and grasses they can regenerate bigger and better than before. It’s recommended that for perennials, you should cut them back to about 2-3″ above the ground.
- When you cut back ornamental grasses, a rule of thumb is to cut them back to 1/5th (or 20%) of their maximum height.
- Remove excess mulch and leaf scraps from around the bases of your plants, along with any extra mulch that was placed around plants to protect them during the winter. If you leave excess organic material around the bases of plants in spring it can cause root rot, mold, and insect damage. Spring is the rainiest time of the year, and mulch is not as important in the spring.
- Divide up your fall perennials and grasses and transplant them throughout the yard. This gives them time to grow during the season, so by late summer you have new plants to enjoy.
- You might want to aerate your lawn. Aeration allows greater movement of water, fertilizer, and air which stimulates healthy growth. Aerating also increases the speed of decomposition of the grass your clippings and enhances deep root growth.
- Fertilize your lawn in the spring to give it a boost (you should do it late fall too). Don’t overdo it though, this is because too much fertilizer can hurt the environment.
- In Michigan, it’s nice to remove dandelions and other weeds before they go to seed and spread through the neighborhood.
- Assess the size and configuration of your lawn, and how much water you used this year to keep it green. Consult with a landscape architect about how you to redesign your yard landscape to make it more attractive.
- Weed control is important in the spring. You will want to get ahead of the weeds now, while the soil is soft and easy to work with and the weeds are small. You will thank yourself for the effort later.
- Check any metal or plastic edging to make sure that it has not been destroyed over the winter. Edging helps keep the sod from creeping into your landscape beds areas. If you have a plastic protective cap on your edging, inspect it and replace it if necessary.
Spring is often the busiest season of the year for the perennial gardener. We’ve spent many a gloomy winter day waiting to get dirt under our nails, once again.