Does your front yard have the winter blues? Help is on the way!

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Does your front yard have the winter blues? Crocuses and daffodils are just starting to pop through the skeletal plants and dead leaves, making this the perfect time to get underway with spring cleaning for your garden beds and lawn. Spring cleaning is essential for making room for budding flowers and plants now, and also to create a foundation for a beautiful garden in the summer months to come.  But where to begin? That’s the crucial – and often overwhelming – question. Here are some essential do’s and don’ts for spring cleaning in your yard.

Make a clean sweep of planting beds

Do make room for new plants and flowers. Rake away winter debris, trim dead branches and clear off the crusty top layer of soil. Make sure to cut back any lingering perennials so new buds get the full benefit of fertilizer and water.

Don’t overprune roses, hydrangea and other budding plants. Pruning encourages new growth but can also stunt the size and number of flowers. Judicious shearing and timing is everything when it comes to reaping an abundance of colorful, healthy flowers in your spring and summer garden.

Insulate and amend soil with mulch

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Do blanket planting beds and soil around trees and shrubs. A layer of compost mulch or larger pieces of bark not only makes your landscape look more polished but also serves to insulate, fertilize and protect those all-important growing roots. Mulch keeps roots warm in spring and cool in summer, aids in moisture retention and adds nutrients as it breaks down.

Don’t be overzealous. Even though mulch has all of these benefits, many people unwittingly kill their plants with too much kindness. When mulch builds up it acts as a water-repellent and cuts off the circulation of air to the roots. Over-mulching can actually suffocate plants. Two to four inches is the optimum amount of mulch.

Thatch, aerate and overseed

Do thicken the lawn in spring. April, May and June are the perfect months to thatch, aerate and overseed. You want to wait until the short window after the early spring rainy season so that the ground is soft and moist, and before the hot and sunny summer when the ground is too hard for seeds to sprout into lush green grass.

Don’t scalp your yard. It’s easy to over-thatch if you aren’t familiar with using the equipment needed for the job. This is one time when it pays to hire professionals instead of renting expensive equipment that may wind up costing you even more money if you have to reseed your entire lawn.

Refresh landscape design

Do assess the big picture of your yard. Look at the framework of shrubs and perennials that last from season to season, and decide on a color scheme of spring annuals that can be added to or altered as the seasons change.

Don’t forget that size matters. The cardinal rule of planting is obvious: tallest in back, medium in the middle, shortest in front. Many people, however, forget to check labels for mature plant heights and widths. Some transplanting maintenance is always necessary from month to month, but overcrowding can lead to a mess of roots to untangle, killing plants in the process.

Make gardening a pleasure, not a pain

Do enjoy gardening!  This is the last and most important “do” on our list. Gardening should be fun and relaxing, not a stressful chore that keeps getting pushed to the bottom of your “to do” list. Figure out the parts you want to take on yourself, and hire licensed and insured professionals to do the rest.

Uyeta Landscape and Maintenance has been family owned since 1967. Our caring and knowledgeable team has over 50 years’ experience combining art and science into landscape environments that leave clients and communities with a sense of pride and place.