Your lawn demands some spring cleaning to look its best after a period of winter dormancy. Taking a weekend to clean up since the weather starts to warm will save time later and it helps prevent some difficulties later in the summer. Survey your lawn before you begin to help devise a particular record of what’s done to have it ready for the year.
Many non-flowering shrubs, trees and woody plants react well to spring stone, which cleans up their physical appearance. Flowering shrubs typically are not pruned heavily until after they finish blooming, even though you can trim out dead and damaged branches. Cut back dead perennials which were left at the lawn for winter interest, like coneflowers (Echinacea spp.) Or ornamental grasses, to within a few inches of the ground before new growth starts. Pull up any dead annuals still remaining in the lawn.
Yards collect debris over the winter season, including fallen leaves, dead grasses and other detritus that blows in. Rake up gathered debris from the yard and garden beds and remove it or compost it. Piles of debris left on the yard can ruin the emerging spring grass under it and offer a nesting site for slugs and insect pests. Rake when the grass is dry, otherwise the rake can pull the grass from the soft, wet ground.
Winter mulch that protected perennials looks ragged come spring. It frequently washes or blows from the bed. Pull old mulch away from the base of trunks and comes so a little space remains between the plant and the mulch layer. Rake blown mulch back into its appropriate location. Spread fresh mulch over garden beds to replenish the old layer and maintain a thickness of 2 to 3 inches. Remove old sheets of plastic mulch from yearly garden beds and replace with fresh before planting. Plastic mulch usually only survives for one year before it tears, becomes ragged and has to be replaced.
In mild climates that experience little to no snowfall, winter lawn damage is usually minimal. Avoid walking on soggy areas until they’re dry so that the grass will not become damaged. You can overseed thin spots on warm-season grass lawns in spring, while it is best to overseed cool-season grasses in fall. Resume mowing when the grass grows to 4 to 5 inches tall and only trim it back to 3 to 4 inches. Mowing too early in spring or too low results in weak grass which is more prone to summer damage during dry periods.