Spring cleaning your yard and your garden

by Michael Smith

Spring is right around the corner, even though it officially has arrived in Mid-March, and now is the time of year when we emerge from our homes to find our yards and gardens in disarray and somewhat in a mess even.

Winter isn’t usually kind to our shrubs, our lawns, or our gardens. Follow these tips to get ready for spring:

Make a list: Before you head to your local home improvement or garden center, make a list of everything you need for the chores that you plan to undertake. A list eliminates the need to make multiple trips because you forgot something.

The same for seeds. Think and plan what you want to sow, especially as regards to vegetables – and my suggestion with the way the economy goes a great deal of your lawn should be turned over to vegetables, and also as regards to “local foods”. For any of those that you can grow yourself you do not have to buy. Also, homegrown taste better. You can also grow in planters and boxes on the patio and other hard standing.

Sew and plant according to the instructions for your area and also use the old almanacs as regards to moon phases and such like. Yes, I do believe in that. The old ones have shown that it works.

Leaves and branches: Normally leaves should have been sorted in late autumn but if you have, say, an oak tree or a beech tree that borders your yard and garden then you may find that you still have some fallen leaves to deal with. The leaves of oaks tend to to hang onto the limbs well into February, so you end left with a bunch of leaves that fell during the coldest months of the year; with beech trees the leaves cling on often even longer, sometimes till the new shoots arrive. If you did get the majority of your leaves under control at the end of autumn then this chore should not take too long.

Branches, especially twigs and twigs may be all over the place if, especially like me, you have birch trees around you. They best be cleared up too.

Mind the edges: Nice clean borders seem to blur during winter. If you do this job correctly now it will be easier to maintain those nice clean edges in the months to come.

Fertilize: Depending on the size of your lawn and garden, fertilizing may be a quick step or a step you might consider avoiding. Fertilizing a lawn always if a questionable operation, in my opinion, unless you have a bowling green or such. With areas for growing crops this is, obviously, a different story and ideally here you should fertilize using organic fertilizer, such as good well rotted down manure and well rotted compost. The latter you make yourself in the yard using compost heaps or composting bins.

© M Smith (Veshengro), 2009