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Green 👍 Not Required: Surveying and Maintaining the Backyard

With winter in the rearview mirror, your backyard is going to need a bit of TLC to get it ready for spring. Whether you enlist the help of landscaping pros or not, our experts have put together a quick reference guide for surveying your backyard and determining the kind of maintenance it needs in preparation for spring.

Assess the Damage Before diving into any maintenance tasks, take a walk around your backyard to assess the damage caused by winter. Look for signs of wear and tear such as:

Dead or damaged plants

Fallen branches and debris

Patches of mold or mildew

Uneven or compacted soil

Damaged fences or structures

Clean Up Start by clearing away any debris that has accumulated over the winter months. Landscapers offer this service and will do so at a cost. If you’re DIYing it, check out this video about lawn maintenance 101: from raking up fallen leaves, twigs, and other organic matter, to trimming back dead foliage from plants and shrubs to encourage new growth.

Don’t forget to clean your outdoor furniture, grill, and any other accessories that have been sitting outside. 

Prepare the Soil Healthy soil is the foundation of a thriving garden, so it’s essential to give it some attention before planting season begins. Loosen compacted soil with a garden fork or tiller to improve drainage and aeration. Add organic matter like compost to enrich the soil.

Check yard for low spots After a spring shower, tour your yard to look for puddles that indicate low spots. Low spots are not welcome: they kill your grass and can be a welcome breeding ground for mosquitoes. Mark low spots with a short stake fill in those ditches with dirt. Don’t worry about grass growth — it’ll grow through a couple of inches of soil coverage without a problem.

Prune and Trim This one is a must. If you are doing this on your own without the help of landscapers, remember safety first. Safe and proper practice is required to do things like remove dead or diseased branches from trees and shrubs to promote new growth and prevent the spread of disease. 

Check soil drainage Make sure soil slopes away from foundation walls of your home to prevent water from soaking the soil around your foundation and causing leaks and cracks.

Check Your Irrigation System If you’ve got an irrigation system, check that it’s in working order: Inspect hoses, sprinklers, and drip lines for leaks or damage, and repair or replace any faulty components. Adjust your watering schedule to accommodate the changing weather conditions as spring weather approaches.

Plan for Pests Tis the season. Take proactive measures to prevent infestations by keeping your garden clean and free of debris. Consider planting pest-resistant varieties of plants (i.e. lavender, basil, rosemary, lemongrass or marigolds).

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