Planning a spring yard clean-up is a great way to make your yard look nice for the summer. Even though it's powerful to maintain a natural look, you can enhance your home's outdoor appearance with basic care for your lawn, garden, and other greenery. Here are some simple ways to improve your yard's appearance.
Weeds, according to the Weed Science Society of America, are plants that cause economic losses, ecological damage, or health problems for humans. They may also simply be plants that are edible but don't add to attractive aesthetics.
Various types of weeds exist, such as noxious weeds, which are determined by government officials to be dangerous or undesirable. Invasive weeds are non-native plants that take over native gardens and alter ecosystems. Here are lawn and garden weeds that commonly appear on residential properties:
- Crabgrass: Large flowering grass blades can be controlled by regular mowing
- Purslane: The fast-growing plant producing tiny black seeds controlled by hand-weeding
- Pigweed: Large leaves that can be prevented with winter mulch
- Chickweed: A short plant that lures insects and plant viruses removed by hand-weeding
- Creeping Charlie: Ground ivy controlled by seeding grasses in shady lawn areas
Some weeds may be considered acceptable, such as dandelions, which are bright yellow flowers on lawns. Removing them requires pulling deep roots, but some people allow them to help feed bees and add natural bright color. Although bees utilize dandelions, they prefer gardens without dandelions.
Make Time for Pruning Plants
During the winter through early spring it's a good idea to prune trees, shrubs, and other plants. Remove unattractive branches, especially those that hinder access or have become deformed by winter. You may need to remove vines on fences and trim lower tree branches that extend into your neighbor's yard.
Not all plants need to be pruned at the same time, as they may bloom at different times. The ideal time to trim shrubs is late winter when flowers form their buds. It's best to do heavy pruning at this time to prevent new growth. For shrubs that flower in the spring, pruning should be after spring flowers begin fading.
Remove Scattered or Piled Leaves
Even after autumn ends, leaves continue to fall from trees. It's important to avoid letting leaves pile up in the winter, especially if they stay wet. This moisture can attract mold, mildew, and disease. Piles of wet leaves can block sunlight to the grass underneath. At the same time, it's ok to leave thin layers of leaves on the ground because they act as fertilizer that helps add organic nutrients to the soil. It's best not to rake wet leaves and wait until they dry.
Clean Your Deck
Part of your spring yard clean-up includes inspecting and cleaning your deck. Ideally, your deck has a waterproof coating, otherwise, you need to be careful your deck doesn't become too moist. Over time the buildup of moisture can degrade wood or concrete. It's wise to learn methods for how to keep water from dripping through deck openings.
Pull Fast-growing Weeds
Weeds can grow rapidly in the spring. If you just let them grow, they can get pretty tall by summer. The more they grow, the stronger the roots get, making them harder to pull. You can keep weeds under control by not mowing them too short and allowing clippings to remain on the lawn. Be sure not to overwater or underwater it. Consider letting some wildflowers grow if they add to the color scheme.
Other Essential Tips
- Loosen soil for flower beds after winter
- Reset boundaries of your garden with a hose and sharp tool to remove grass
- When moving the lawn, allow for grass to stand two or three inches
- If the grass is too tall, it can shade the roots, which limits weeds that sprout
- Wait until the soil dries out to add mulch
- Remove weeds growing through cracks and openings on walkways
- Clean patio furniture and remove mud or grime
An annual spring yard clean-up will make your landscaping look more cohesive and attractive. Contact us at West Coast Deck Waterproofing for deeper insights on how to beautify your yard.