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Spring Cleaning for Outdoor Fun

As winter’s lingering shadow lessens, and the sun shines brighter and warmer every day, it’s an ideal time to give your front and back yards a thorough spring cleaning in preparation for a long stretch of satisfying, beautiful, and safe outdoor fun.

Here are some suggestions for outdoor spring cleaning:

Rake it up! Put the snow shovel in the shed, pull the rake out, and clean up all of the fallen twigs, leaves and other debris. Getting this material off the lawn and out of your flower beds will enable the things you want to grow to absorb maximum sunlight and thrive. It will also make your yard look nice and tidy, and create a smoother, safer surface for playing.

Make mulch while the sun shines. Do you have lots of windblown tree limbs, sticks, twigs, and other woody debris littering your lawn? Rent a wood chipper from a local hardware supplier and convert all that stuff into mulch, which will help to beautify your vegetable garden this summer. This is truly a form of turning trash into treasure. Who knew broken sticks could help to create healthful dinners?

Prune for beauty, health, and safety. Pruning your ungroomed shrubs, trees and perennials will do more than just neaten up your yard and encourage lush, healthy growth; it may also help to make your yard a safer environment and prevent future damage to your property. Damaged tree limbs are more vulnerable in spring and summer storms. To keep them from breaking off and hurting people or damaging objects, trim them or have a professional arborist do so.

Draw up your plans. Now that you’ve cleaned up and made room for some changes to your yard, make a plan to execute them. Grab a pencil and paper and map out your vision for this year’s prime outdoor living space. Want to create some pretty gravel paths, espalier some fruit trees, add a berry patch, or incorporate a fountain? Thinking about all the homegrown vegetables your craving? Draw or write it all down, and take your plans with you on your next trip to the nursery or hardware store.

Start Planting. In many zones, springtime is a safe time to plant certain hardy varieties of plants, trees, or shrubs in the yard. If they can survive the occasional chilly nights of spring, set them in the ground and watch as they, and all your hard work, help your yard come back to life this season.


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