Whether you have a sizable landscape garden or a small yard with a few flower or vegetable beds, regular garden cleaning, pruning and fertilizing is a must all year round. This ensures your garden stays healthy and has the resilience to fight off attacks from pests and elemental challenges that winter and summer bring.
Follow our garden cleaning checklist to make sure you’re focusing on the right tasks to get the most out of your yard clean up.
- Pull up the weeds
No garden cleaning is complete until you’ve rid your flower or vegetable beds of weeds. Without weeds there are more nutrients and moisture for plants to thrive. Grab a durable bag and get to work. You’ll need a weeding tool and kneeling mat. Tip: it’s easier to weed the day after it rains, they pull right up so you get the roots.
- Tree trimming
Broken and rogue branches should be trimmed so they don’t cause trouble if any storms come along. Depending on the size of the branches, this can be a DIY job with pruning shears or small saw. But if they’re too large it’s best to call in a tree professional.
- Lawn care
Regularly mowing your lawn will keep it looking attractive, and the weeds under control. But to keep it in tip top condition during colder months, use a lawn fertilizer with a high phosphorus content to nourish the roots and build up resilience to pests. You can also aerate with a garden fork to break up soil to ensure nutrients, air and water penetrate deeply.
- Rake up leaves
Be sure to keep on top of fallen leaves by raking up regularly. Even if you can only spend an hour each week on cleaning your garden, then leaf clean up should be a top priority. If left on the ground leaves will block essential sunlight, water and air from reaching the grass and your lawn will suffer.
- Mulching leaves
Shredded leaves make great mulch for plants, especially perennials, roses and shrubs. Spread mulch around the base of plants in winter to protect roots, or in summer to retain moisture and keep soil cool. Mulch is also be used to suppress weeds and improve the fertility of the soil. Learn how to make mulch from leaves.
- Clean leaves out of gutters
Your yard clean up should also focus on the exterior of your house. If you have nearby trees that drop leaves then your guttering will benefit from regular leaf clean up too. Clearing out leaves prevents blockages and drainage issues so water flows freely.
- Trim hedges
Trimming hedges allows sunlight to penetrate and encourages interior growth. This can be done two or three times a year with pruning shears. Ideally prune your hedge in late winter when it’s dormant. This way in spring its energy can go towards producing new growth.
- Garden edging
If you want to improve the look of your garden then edging your flower border or shrub bed with rocks, stones or bricks will emphasize the lines. Garden edging can help keep your garden tidy and reduce your maintenance by preventing grass and weeds from spreading, and mulch from spilling onto the lawn.
- Fall planting
Take advantage of fall when the soil is still warm to plant bulbs, shrubs and other annuals so you’ll have a blooming garden come springtime. Bulbs such as daffodils, hyacinths and snowdrops will lie dormant in winter, then flower in spring. Winter flowers such as pansies and peonies also can be planted in the fall.
- Deck cleaning
Generally it’s best to clean a wooden deck in the warmer months so it can dry quickly after a good power wash. If moisture is left then mold and mildew will grow quickly. Apply a weatherproofing stain to your clean, dry deck to protect it from damage.
- Clean tools and store them
If your garden tools have seen better days you may want to buy new ones. But if you want to spend some time cleaning, sharpening edges, filing away rust, and lightly oiling the joints. This will save you some money.
Follow this yard clean up checklist consistently and you should be proud owner of a beautiful garden in any season!
Author’s Bio: Angela Pearse is a blogger for Zumper who frequently combines travel with freelance writing. She’s passionate about Art Deco hotels, historical novels, Netflix, hiking and healthy living.
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