Spring is here, and the lawn is ready for some maintenance.
Where does one even get started?
Just like your home, your yard needs some “spring cleaning” to help freshen up and get ready for the growing season.
There are countless tips and tricks to help homeowners manage their land, especially after an Albertan winter.
While it may seem overwhelming to get started at first, spring lawn maintenance can be broken down into a few simple steps.
Our experts at Yardworx have put together some of the best spring lawn maintenance tips for the everyday homeowner.
What Happens to Your Lawn After an Albertan Winter?
Winter can cause a lot of wear and tear on a lawn.
Strong winds and cold temperatures killing off plant life will leave a homeowner with a lot of debris on their land.
Since, more than likely, there hasn’t been any extensive maintenance done over the winter, there’s probably a lot to prune as well.
It will also depend on the size of the property. Someone with a vast yard with lots of trees is going to have a lot more to do than someone with a tiny garden.
Steps to bring the lawn back from an Albertan winter should include:
- Pruning and shaping any overgrown shrubs.
- Pulling weeds.
- Preparing flower beds by composting and removing grass.
- Divide and mulch where necessary.
- Pick up debris with rake and trash bags.
A checklist always helps to organize a day’s chores, and each should be custom-made to fit a specific property’s need.
What Tools Are Required
Using the right tool for the right job could cut maintenance time in half, and save a homeowner a tremendous amount of effort.
The best tools for lawn maintenance include:
- Shears or pruning scissors
- Garden shovel
- Trash bags/Compost bins
- Gardening gloves or leather gloves
- Hat and sunscreen
Each of these tools will help to cut and shape a yard, plant new vegetation, or help protect a gardener from injury.
Spring Yard Clean Up
Yard clean-up is best saved until after trimming to pick up debris all in one go.
With strong winds and deep snow in the winter, there might be some litter left underneath the layers of snow.
Remember to pick up the trash prior to moving onto other tasks.
A pair of heavy-duty gloves might be required as you never know what you might encounter including broken glass or dog waste.
Dispose of your yard waste properly as outlined in the city’s bylaws – most of your yard waste can end up in the green bins in Calgary.
Doing this can be hard work but should go smoothly once you get started with a rake.
Raking does not only help with your leaves but it also helps control any thatch build-up.
When to Start Planting
Every plant has its own planting requirements.
Early spring is also a good time to plant trees, shrubs, and perennial flowers.
Grass should be seeded early in spring, however other plants and flowers used in gardens may need to be planted later in summer.
It’s worth researching different seed planting times if a homeowner is planning on creating a flowerbed or vegetable garden.
Fertilizer requires its own timing as well. Fertilizing grass too early, for example, will make a lush yard but also strengthen weeds.
The greatest threat to a homeowner’s yard is weeds.
Removing weed should also be added to your checklist. It is recommended to remove weed preemptively as they’re much easier to manage before weed seeds germinate. They can be mitigated through handpicking, mowing, and with the help of pre-emergent herbicides.
If preventative measures aren’t taken advantage of in early spring, weeds can become a huge nuisance in summer. They can tangle with your fencing and create other issues in your backyard.
Pruning is necessary for plant health and yard aesthetics.
Any dead plant or old wood that experienced winterkill should be removed from the yard or the tree.
You can differentiate these from a healthy branch by noticing their colours – if the underneath layer of their bark is brown, that is a sign that they are damaged.
Additionally when pruning, make sure not to take too much off shrubs and hedges, as it could damage them.
Mulch is the dead grass, leaves or wood which is left on a yard either intentionally or otherwise cover parts of a yard.
When intentionally placed during cold weather to cover perennials, mulch can help the perennial plants survive longer.
However, when the weather starts to warm up and the ground starts to thaw, it is recommended to remove the mulch if perennials start to push up.
Mulch can be re-added once the plants have grown to control weed and conserve water during the summer.
It is best to fertilize near the beginning of September, however, some lawns might require early spring fertilizing.
Fertilizer should be applied when the snow has completely thawed, and all debris has been removed.
Clearing the top-layer will ensure that the fertilizer directly applies to the top layer of soil.
Doing this will help give nutrients to grass and prepare them for winter, while also helping avoid feeding weeds.
We’re Here to Help
Spring lawn care can be hard and burdensome work to many people.
Our team at Yardworx has been caring for lawns in Calgary and Edmonton for over 30 years.
We understand the ins and outs of Alberta’s lawns and weather.
If you are unsure about how to care for the plants in your yard or how to maintain your lawn in the spring, call us today!
We are happy to provide you with additional assistance to get things done or we can even do it all for you!