Don’t Forget About Your Trees During Spring Yard Cleaning
Spring cleaning normally refers to clearing out our houses in the spring, but it also applies to cleaning up your yard! In Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, and the surrounding regions of Northern Virginia, April is an excellent time to evaluate your landscaping for winter damage, fallen branches, garbage, weeds, broken irrigation, and other issues. After a spring cleaning, your garden will not only look better, but your trees, shrubs, and landscaping plants will be healthier as well.
This article will teach you:
•Why should you tidy up your yard and garden in the spring?
•Why does a spring cleaning include more than simply tidying up?
•The top 10 spring yard cleaning jobs to do this year
•How can you get everything done if you don’t have the time or energy to do it yourself?
When Should You Begin Spring Garden Cleaning?
As soon as the temperature warms up in the spring, your shrubs and trees begin to prepare for their blooms and new foliage. To make the most of this seasonal spectacle, clear up your garden, bushes, and trees in the early spring.
If possible, start spring cleaning your yard before the trees and plants leaf out. Without the leaves in the way, it will be simpler to notice and deal with any concerns.
The Advantages of a Spring Yard Cleanup
A complete spring yard cleaning entails much more than merely raking or brushing off dirt. Instead, the aim is to eliminate or repair anything that may jeopardize the health, look, or safety of your prized landscaping plants. An early “spring cleaning” results in a healthier and more appealing garden for the next growth season.
This spring cleaning is critical for your trees. Overwintering insect pests and illnesses that have discovered safe havens in your garden are also waking up and heading straight for them. One of the most effective strategies to decrease or eradicate garden pests and illnesses is to remove their hiding spots (such as fallen leaves).
Following the 10-step spring yard cleaning checklist below will help your shrubs and trees sail into summer robust and problem-free. And who doesn’t desire a more appealing home to spend their vacation in?
Checklist for a 10-Step Spring Yard Cleanup
There are 10 activities you should do each spring to guarantee your plants and landscaping look nice throughout the spring and summer. These are some examples:
1 Examine the Hardscape for Winter Damage
Examine your yard for anything that didn’t fair well throughout the winter (or that wasn’t mended before winter came). Non-plant damage from frost heave includes pushed-up concrete and garden edging, as well as damaged water pipes. You don’t want to waste water or be shocked by a high water bill due to an undiscovered leak, and you don’t want any loose concrete, stone, or metal to pose a tripping hazard. Before spring growth starts in earnest, replace any broken or damaged things.
Following a review of your garden’s hardscape, you may begin work on jobs for your planting sections.
2 Get Rid of Weeds
Nobody enjoys weeding, but the sooner you get started, the better. Weeds will compete with your trees and shrubs for moisture and nutrients, which the trees need to survive our long, hot summers.
Pulling weeds from around trees and shrubs before they have a chance to set seeds reduces the number of weed seeds that may germinate. Annual weeds will also be simpler to pluck while they are tiny and the ground is softer from spring rainfall. Weeds will also come out of the soil more quickly and with less effort if they haven’t had time to grow large roots. When your soil has warmed up but before it dries out, is the greatest time to get rid of weedy vegetation.
3 Remove Plants from Around Your Trees
Clear the area surrounding tree trunks of any trash, vegetation, and competing plants. This includes turf, groundcovers, and ivy (which should not touch or climb the trunks of your trees).
These plants may conceal flaws such as decaying patches and trap moisture around the root crown, giving an ideal setting for fungal growth. Trash and plant waste accumulates underground and beneath ivy, creating a breeding environment for animal pests. Remove any competing plants inside the drip line and cover the soil with mulch. This will remove debris from which insect larvae hatch, fungi flourishes, and weeds thrive.
The region near the base of a tree (known as the trunk flare or root flare) is critical to the health of your tree. The trunk flare should be visible at all times and should never be concealed by mulch. Plants, even those you desire in your yard, should avoid the area inside a tree’s drip line.
4 Clear away any fallen branches and twigs.
Branches and even tiny twigs are difficult to break down and may harm mower blades and other lawn equipment. Allow them to be chipped for mulch or place them in your green trash container.
When cleaning up fallen branches, check up into the tops of your trees to determine if there is a cause for the dropped limbs. Damaged branches might simply be the result of winter snow or ice loads, but they could also be the result of rot, illness, a broken cable, inappropriate trimming, and other factors.
5 Remove Broken and Dead Branches
Call a professional tree service to trim and treat your trees if they have winter storm damage, broken branches (particularly if they are still hanging from the tree), or dead limbs. After expert trimming, your trees will not only look better, but they will also be safer and healthier. However, you should always have a tree care expert climb your trees; it is much too risky to attempt this yourself.
You can trim what you can reach from ground level if you’re comfortable with it. Look for broken-off limbs with dangling branches, jagged branch ends, and stubs where whole branches have broken.
6 Remove Debris
Remove any garbage or debris that has blown into your yard throughout the winter. It not only seems unpleasant, but it may also attract mice and other pests.
7 Clean Up Fallen Leaves
If you didn’t get around to raking up leaves last autumn, or if your neighbor’s leaves blown onto your yard during the winter, now is the time. It’s particularly crucial to remove matted-down leaves because they hinder water from reaching the soil below and may promote fungal development.
If the leaves are from healthy trees or plants, they may be composted or mowed down using a mulching mower. However, if the leaves are from sick or insect-infested plants from the previous year, dispose of them in a plastic bag to prevent spreading the illness or pest this year.
8 Fluff and rake your mulch
Winter rain and snow may compress mulch, making it more difficult for water and air to penetrate to the soil underneath. After you’ve revitalized the mulch layer in planting beds and around trees, you’ll be able to properly measure its volume and determine whether more is required. Don’t go too deep; 2 to 4 inches is the optimal depth for mulch.
9 Put Your Irrigation System to the Test
It’s always a good idea to inspect your irrigation system before your prized landscaping plants need it! Don’t wait until it’s hot and your plants and bushes are thirsty to switch on your system. If any pipes or emitters developed leaks or breaks throughout the winter, you will have to wait for repairs, and your plants may suffer as a result. If you inspect your system early, you can plan repairs and ensure that your irrigation system is ready when your garden needs it.
Also, ensure sure your irrigation system has different zones or watering cycles for your trees. Trees need fewer frequent, deeper watering cycles than tiny, shallow-rooted plants that require regular watering (such as lawns and groundcovers).
10 Check Your Tools
Good tools are an investment that will last a lifetime if properly cared for. Sharpen your pruning shears and loppers, as well as your mower, shovels, spades, and soil-cultivating instruments. Sharp, clean blades facilitate your job, and sharp instruments produce clean pruning cuts that heal quicker than ragged ones. Also, remember to oil! Oiling the hinges and blades of your tools can help them run more smoothly and prevent corrosion.
Are you short on time or energy? Instead, try this!
If you’re overwhelmed by the quantity of clean-up labor your garden requires, it’s best to hire assistance than to leave it alone.
When seeking for assistance, be sure you recruit individuals who are competent for the tasks at hand. A general handyman may be excellent at little jobs, but for more specialized work, such as mending damaged pipes or trimming trees, it is worthwhile to contact qualified specialists. People may call themselves tree trimmers or landscapers, but it does not imply skill or competence, nor does it imply liability coverage for property damage.
Tree damage caused by improper trimming, mowers, and string trimmers is difficult, if not impossible, to restore after the fact. You’ll wind yourself spending significantly more than you expected to correct poor workmanship. We suggest that homeowners get written quotes for yard maintenance (that contain listed chores) so that they can compare pricing and the scope of work that will be performed.
In particular, inquire about how possible gardeners or landscapers would handle jobs such as mulching, pruning, and shaping plants. You want to avoid damage mulch volcanoes and shorn plants, which will need subsequent trimming. And if you hear the phrase “topping” in reference to your trees, find someone else as soon as possible (here’s why topping is the worst thing you can do to a tree).