6 Essential spring Landscaping Tasks
Landscaping in Alberta can appear daunting and overwhelming especially after 6 months of brutally chilling temperatures and heavy layers of snow and ice. The weather extremes that grace the prairies each year put our yards through stressful events that call for extra care come spring. The key to maintaining a strong landscape that can withstand the test of time really comes down to the maintenance and care that is put into both winterizing and freshening up come spring. Regardless of where you are starting; whether you prepped last fall or rolled the dice come April, this list will help you transform your outdoor living space into a summer oasis.
Here are 6 key tasks that will beautify your yard and bring your landscape out of hibernation.
Inspect HARDSCAPES and decks for damage
A well-known struggle of freezing temperatures, layers of ice, and chemical solutions is the stress and damage that is caused to concrete and wooden structures. As temperatures rise and snow disappears, the havoc of winter reveals the damage caused to your hardscapes and decks from the last 6 months. Inspecting patios, decks, pathways, and driveways is essential to preventing further damage which can compromise the integrity and safety of these spaces. When examining these areas, focus your attention to any splits and cracks in any stone, concrete, or wood products, loosening or instability of any bricks or boards, and finally, any loose nails or missing material. Addressing these areas of concern will prevent any further damage, as well as lengthen the life expectancy of your space.
Clean out the gutters
As the snow has fallen over the winter months, we always seem to forget how much water really has covered the ground until everything begins to melt, storm drains fill, and flooding and pooling begin to take over your yard. Water can be very destructive which means that ensuring your gutters are free from blockages and debris is of high importance come spring. This is a dreadful and tedious process; however, clean gutters will prevent storm water and snow melt from making its way into your home.
To ensure this task is done both safely and effectively, ensure you have the right tools to get the job done. This task can be performed either from a ladder and by hand which is the most effective way to guarantee a clear track, or, if climbing up a ladder is an uncomfortable method for you, there are tools that will allow you to clean your gutters out from the ground. Once all debris has been removed, use a garden hose to flush any remnants through the downspout and ensure the entirety of the gutter is clear.
Prune trees and shrubs
To promote the health and well-being of trees and shrubs, taking action in the early stages of spring is an ideal time as they are still in adormant stage.. Before your trees and shrubs break out of hibernation, pull out those pruners and remove any unhealthy or distressed looking branches. These areas are highly prone to disease and will also prevent over-growth and over-crowding of branches which will leave little to no room for light to penetrate and fruits, leaves, and flowers to prosper.
When trimming trees and shrubs, it is important to clip off all branches down to the main stem. Make sure to use sharp pruners to prevent shredding branches and follows a general shape to avoid a hacked appearance and leave your trees and shrubs looking natural and healthy.
Clean out the garden beds
The first rush of warm weather that hits can make it very hard to not jump into the garden and begin freshening up and planting new life. We are all itching to bring color and life back to these spaces but one of the most important factors to cleaning out those garden beds is to wait, wait, wait! During the early and cooler days, there is no harm to cleaning out all the dead leaves and debris. The standard rule to cleaning out the garden is to wait for the soil to absorb enough water so that you can not form a ball of soil in your hand. Once the soil is dry enough to work with, you can now begin digging up the old annual plants and pruning back those perennials.
Once all remnants and debris have been cleaned out, testing the soil is an essential next step prior to planting and seeding. Testing the PH level of the soil will allow you to assess the level of balanced nutrients within the soil which is a key component to the health and growth of your garden. Balanced soil should only require a top up of soil and compost (or fertilizer) to promote healthy and enriched growth. Some soils may need more attention and corrective measures to ensure initial growth and longevity is achieved throughout the summer months.
Early lawn care
When it comes to your lawn, early spring care proves to be the most effective. Prepping your lawn in the cooler months will help your lawn get a running start at the season. Start by cleaning up all remaining leaves, garbage, twigs, and debris that has coated your lawn since the fall. Assess any potential damage your lawn has endured, including bare spots, which can be repairedby seeding and consistently watering until new growth reaches approximately 2 inches in height.
Prevent weeds and promote the health of your grass by applying a weed prevention product and fertilizing the entirety of your lawn. When fertilizing and providing nourishment to your lawn, it is important to also execute your first mow around this time. When mowing, remember, mow high! Mowing high in the early stages of spring will allow the roots to grow deep and strong along with crowding out any remaining weeds.
Top up MULCH and begin planting
We have finally arrived at the fun part of spring clean-up! It is time to bring in the seeds and fresh mulch. Now, it is important to remember to wait until the soil and ground is warm enough to encourage healthy growth. Freeze, thaw temperatures can be deadly to seeds and young plants.
Apply your seeds and fresh plants to your garden, and start designing the new look of your garden beds and really accent the appearance of your home. Once you have incorporated all seeds and plants, top up your mulch to freshen up the look of your garden bed as well as to provide protection to those new seedlings as they begin to strengthen. The final step to a clean and sharp garden is remembering to edge those beds! Keeping a sharp and distinctive edge between your lawn and garden prevents the intrusion of weeds and provides a neat appearing landscape.
The health and longevity of your landscaping starts in the early weeks of spring. While we are all eager for summer to hit and to jump right into the gardening season, we must hone-in and focus on the key tasks that are of the utmost importance when it comes to early spring landscaping care.
At Rockland, we are focused on guiding you through these steps to help in beautifying landscapes all over the city. We seek to only supply high quality products and supplies that promote health and nourishment of your landscaping. Our team and landscape center is equipped with the information and tools required to execute your landscaping goals.