Garden & Landscape Clean Up Hints and Tips
- Hand rake lawns to remove debris and encourage air movement in roots (usually no need to power de-thatch)
- Top dress with uneven spots with top soil and/or peat moss. Reseed bare spots.
- Aerate lawn with a minimum of 2” plugs (not too dry). Leave plugs on top of lawn.
- Apply pre-emergent herbicide to control crabgrass, dandelions, & other annual weeds (do not apply over new lawn seed). Can use organic product like corn gluten.
- In April, apply 1 lb. of high nitrogen fertilizer per 1,000 sq ft. of turf. Water in well.
- Perform a soil test.
- Remove leaves and debris from beds pulling any weeds before they get too established.
- Remove any dead plant material (may have been done in fall)
- Top dress beds with 2-3” compost. Lightly hand rake in – do not tear at perennial roots. Apply slow release fertilizer. Apply mulch.
- Cut back ornamental grasses to 2-4” above soil level.
- Transplant and divide non-spring blooming perennials before new vegetative growth starts – asters, daisies, sedums, yarrow, and chrysanthemums. Transplant and divide irises, peonies, and daylilies after they bloom in spring. For peonies make sure each new plant has 3 to 4 eyes. Do not plant too deep. Also divide any ornamental grasses where the center has dead out.
- Sow wildflower seeds
- Fertilize any spring bulbs.
- Select and set up plant stakes and trellises for peonies, delphiniums, and other tall perennials and vines.
Shrubs & Trees
- Remove tree wrap (if used for new thin barked trees like Honey locust, Green Ash, Fruit trees, & soft Maples)
- Prune trees when they are bare so you can see branch structure except for Maples and Birch which should be pruned in fall after leaf drop.
- Cut back summer blooming shrubs such as Russian Sage, Butterfly Bush and Blue Mist Spirea to 3-6” above soil level.
- Cut out dead branches of spring blooming shrubs like forsythia, lilac, etc.
- Prune to shape Smokebush, Rose of Sharon, Hydrangea, Potentilla, Ninebark, etc.
- Move shrubs while they are dormant to reduce transplant shock.
- Clean out containers removing dirt with a hose & a brush. For terracotta & ceramic containers, soak pots in a 10% bleach solution to kill fungi and bacteria (wear gloves). Rinse and let dry.
- Fill with fresh potting soil.
- Plant frost hardy pansies and primroses.
- Sow seeds indoors for tomatoes, peppers & eggplant
- Sow cool season seeds outdoors in your prepared garden bed for lettuce, spinach, carrots, radishes, beets and peas
- Clean patio and garden furniture. Repaint or stain (as needed). Protect with oil, sealant or varnish.
- Clean bird baths and bird feeders
- Power wash desks