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How To Do A Spring Cleanup

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Yes, it seems that the winter is finally coming to an end for those of us who live in Stouffville. It was a characteristically harsh Stouffville winter, with a lot of snow, a lot of slush and of course, a whole lot of cold. 

But almost gone are the days of winter! Yes, there may be a couple more days or weeks where we in the great city of Stouffville have to face some cold weather, some snow, or perhaps even some gross grey skies, but there is no where else to look but forward. Forward to blue skies, forward to green grass and of course, another season of landscaping or gardening. Or heck, why not both? 

Spring is around the corner for people all over this great country. From Stouffville to Victoria, all those who aren’t winter people are rejoicing at the fact that we no longer have to face the cold weather. Not only that, but we get too once again get to do our favourite pastime, spending time in our respective yards. But, there is one chore that we all dread before we get to jump into the beautiful spring– the dreaded spring cleanup. 

Oh yes, the chore that is the transition between winter and spring. The chore that is the only thing standing between the average homeowner, gardener or landscaper and their garden. It is (as previously mentioned) widely dreaded, but it is integral. However, we here are going to try to break down all the things that the average homeowner, gardener or landscaper has to do during their spring cleanup. Hopefully, this will help ease the pain. 

Removing Debris

A lot of things tend to die in the winter. Trees lose their leaves, plants tend to die out, grass disappears underneath a blanket of snow. Not only that, but the winds of winter tend to blow those aforementioned trees around, knocking around their branches and possibly even blowing them to the floor.

This should be the first step of any gardener, landscaper or homeowner’s spring cleanup. Picking up all the stuff that fell onto their precious yard during the winter– all the twigs, all the bark, all the dead things that may have even been hiding under the snow for the entirety of the winter months.

A good tool to use during this process is a rake, as it can also be used on the lawn to control thatch buildup. However, it’s not just the lawn that should be cleared either– planter beds, below trees, every spot that one can find that is covered in debris should be cleared before the spring comes. 

Prepping and Planting

Once the yard and/or the garden has been cleared of debris, then it’s finally time to start getting ready for actual gardening for this season. This part of the process we like to call the “Double P” or “Prepping and Planting”.

First one needs to prep one’s garden beds for the plants. Weeds need to be removed from all garden beds in order for the plants to have a place to grow. In fact, now is the time to start on doing some weed control in the backyard, so that one doesn’t have to worry about it in the upcoming summer months. Throw down things like fabric, then try to cover that with some mulch. If one isn’t very conscious about the environment and more interested in keeping weeds out of the garden, then herbicides may be the answer for them. 

Afterwards, a good thing to do would to be to use a tiller to break up the garden bed, making it easier for the plants to actually go into the ground. Compost should be place in the beds at this point in the process, chemicals if one needs them. 

Next in the process comes the planting, but not everything can be planted in the beginning of spring. Some plants might need to wait for some hotter months in order to be planted, and the average gardener, homeowner or landscaper doesn’t want to put all the effort into putting together a garden only for some errant June snowfall to break all their progress. This would be the time to plant shrubs, trees, and perennials, as they have the best chance of surviving some random acts of winter.

Now let’s talk about mulch– we’ve done some of that on this website already, but the spring cleanup time is probably the best time to put some down. Make sure that once the mulch is put down that it’s kept away from the perennials that have been planted in order to give them a little more room to grow. Once those perennials do start to grow, the mulch should be taken away so that they can grow a bit more. However, make sure to put the mulch back afterwards so that the weeds don’t grow. We know, it’s a lot of moving mulch, but the effort is worth the gain, we swear!

How does that lawn look? Did the winter really do a number on it? Is it looking all beat up to heck? Now would also be a good time to put in a new lawn if one would so desire.

Taking Care Of Trees

After the garden beds have been all fixed up, the lawn is ready to go and the plants are planted, we need to take care of the final piece of our garden puzzle– the trees. 

Essentially, we need to give the trees a little trim. Prune off all the dead branches from the winter, as well as anything that might look a little out of place. Pruning the dead branches is going to prevent the tree from getting any nasty diseases, and pruning the branches that look out of place is going to make the tree look really nice for when it blooms in the summer.

And so, this article about spring cleanup has come to an end. At the end of the day, spring cleanup may be a bit of a pain in the rear, but think of it this way– it’s a good indicator that winter is finally over!