How to prepare your yard for spring
In: Landscape Tips

Spring has sprung! Do you have spring fever watching the snow melt and seeing your yard emerge? It doesn’t look like the yard you remember, does it? The grass is brown and matted down, debris is everywhere and plants may be damaged from the harsh winter. Luckily, this depressing sight of spring can be changed. Now is the best time to be proactive and rejuvenate your lawn. There are a ton of projects you can do to get your yard ready for spring, so don’t just sit there staring out of your window. Get out and start preparing your yard for a prosperous season!

Getting Your Yard Ready

  • Walk around your yard and inspect it to help get an idea of what needs to be done. Look at your lawn. Is there any excess water? Thatch? Weeds? Next, survey your trees and shrubs for any damage, like hanging branches or deadwood.

  • Inspect your yard equipment and tools to see if any repairs or upkeep is needed. Waiting for your yard to thaw or your soil to harden is a perfect time to do some work in the garage. Once your yard is snow free, you can spring into action.

  • Rake away thatch, leaves and other dead materials that are covering your grass. Be careful, however; raking in the spring can harm new grass roots. If you choose to rake, wait until the soil is dry and firm. If you have excess water, it could be from a layer of clay on top of your soil, so try to add some organic matter to improve the soil’s absorption. Another option is to use some sort of drainage pipe to reroute the water somewhere else.

  • Mow your grass to a height of 2.5 to 3.5 inches. Mowing your grass high and often will strengthen your lawn by shading your soil and keeping out weeds.  The winter and its cold creates hard compacted soil. The dead material on top of your grass prevents air and water from getting down to the roots. Therefore, it is important to remove as soon as possible so the new grass can grow.

Fertilize your yard to get ready for spring

  • Aerate your soil. Breathe some new life into your yard by aerating your soil. You can rent a core aerator from your local hardware store. The machine will make holes in your lawn to improve the absorption of water and nutrients.

  • Fertilize according to your lawn. No two lawns are alike, therefore some may need more fertilizing than others. You can purchase fertilizer at any local hardware or gardening store. The brand, Scotts, has a superb fertilizing program that can help you find the right fertilizer for your yard and advice on the best times to fertilize.

  • Re-seed if you need. If there are some bare or thin patches of your grass that can’t seem to grow, try overseeding. All you have to do is spread a handful of seeds over the affected area. To protect and secure the seeds, place a thin layer of straw or hay on top of the newly seeded area.

  • Get rid of weeds in your yard. If you have had weeds in the past, it may be a good idea to be proactive and stop the weeds from sprouting. It’s as simple as going to your local hardware store and purchasing some crabgrass and weed preventer. Weeds start to sprout at 60 degrees. So, if you see any weeds already popping up, pull them, and use a post emergent herbicide.

  • Prune any damaged or hanging branches so they won’t cripple your tree in the spring. When pruning, make sure to remove the limbs no further than the branch collar. The branch collar is a small ring of raised bark where the branch connects to the trunk. Cutting any closer and harming the bark will wound the tree and disable it from healing properly.


Getting Your Garden Ready

The early spring is all about cleaning, repairing and revitalizing your garden. While tending to the plants that made it through the winter, think of new additions that will work well with the amount of light and water available to your garden.

  • Clean out any debris or dead plants from your garden, but make sure to be gentle!

  • Prune your plants. Cut perennials to the ground and prune any summer blooming shrubs that bloom on new wood (shrub roses, spireas, hydrangeas). Do not prune spring blooming shrubs until they are blooming (lilacs, azaleas, forsythia).

  • pH test your soil. If there is too much or too little acidity in your soil, it can make it harder for the plant to grow. You can alter pH levels with limestone or sulfur. Plant cold-weather plants and vegetables in the spring

  • Improve your garden soil by adding organic material such as compost, manure, and peat moss. This will give your garden a boost in production.

  • Plant cold weather tolerant flowers or veggies. If your green thumb can’t wait and you want to start filling up your garden, plant some flowers that can handle the thawing season. The best spring flowers are pansies, yellow trilliums, snowdrop anemone, lilacs, daffodils, irises, and tulips. Some durable veggies include cabbage, onions, peas, beets, broccoli, and leaf lettuce.

  • You can be proactive towards pests. If you remember any annoying animals or insects that attacked your garden last year, do some research to first identify the pest and then figure out which method would be best, such as installing a fence or using garlic clips, to keep them away.


Fun Ways To Spruce Up Your Garden

Now that your yard is prepared, is there anything you want to add for the backyard season? You can add more color to your yard, attract wildlife or create an outdoor oasis. Here are some popular trends for spring gardening.

Design a rain garden in the spring

  • Design a rain garden. This is a sustainable way to water your garden by catching the run off rain from your roof into a rain barrel or having rain run from your gutter into your garden. It makes watering a breeze and it is also healthy for your yard’s ecosystem by preventing excess drainage.

  • Start a compost. You can make your own black dirt by putting grass clippings, dead plants and food scraps into a compost bin. Simply mix up the compost every two to three weeks and avoid adding meat or dairy. Composting improves soil structure, increases nutrient content, prevents plant diseases, and uses less water.

  • Plant something in an unusual planter. You can plant in just about anything nowadays. Rainboots, watering cans, bird cages and paint cans are all planters that would be a charming centerpiece for your garden.

  • Build a pond. A pond is one of the easiest ways to invite wildlife like birds, frogs, butterflies and crickets into your yard. It also gives your yard a relaxing atmosphere. Planning a pond includes choosing the place, the rocks, plants, shapes, and water falls. Once your have that completed, call 811 to make sure there isn’t any gas or electric lines before you begin to dig. Plan for the pond to be at least 40 cubic feet wide and 18 to 24 inches deep for goldfish. You can build a pond by yourself or with the help of a landscaping company.

  • Create your own garden journal. Nature’s Notebook is a national online program where both professional and amateur gardeners record observations of their plants ( This tool will help you keep track of what is blooming and when around the nation.Working on your garden in the spring will pay off for a wonderful summer.


All of the dirty work of the spring will pay off! Your neighbors will be envious of your green lawn and blossoming garden. While you will be eating fresh vegetables from your gorgeous edible garden and enjoying countless days in your yard with the ones you love. Hopefully these projects will cure your spring fever. For even more ideas, contact your local gardening or landscaping company.




Picture Sources:

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Lawn Pic –

Garden pic-

Rain Garden –

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