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Spring garden clean up time is here!

Updated: Mar 31

Who is loving this weather??? I am for sure! I can't wait to get outside again and start doing what I love to do. It's time to get into the gardens. Are you ready?

This spring is going to be busy. Our weather patterns are changing. We need to be able to jump in as soon as we can to get our gardens and lawns ready for summer. The window between winter and summer seems to be getting so much smaller.

I noticed on my walks and drives through various communities last year that many people took the more natural approach to gardening and left their gardens in less than pristine conditions: More leaves were left to overwinter where they lay. Perennials, grasses and shrubs were left untouched, still standing.

There are some benefits to some of that. There are also some things that can be of concern if not dealt with early in spring. Our winters have become so much warmer. While there are beneficial insects which overwinter in leaf litter, there are also pest and disease which thrive in the extra layer of protection.

I weigh the risk vs benefit and generally do a heavier fall clean up. It makes my spring a bit easier and reduces the chance of critters invading garden spaces. It depends on each garden but normally, in fall, I make sure the leaves have been removed from the lawns and most from gardens, the lawns are cut nice and short, perennials are cut back and ornamentals are protected when necessary. Leaves provide wonderful homes for mice and other rodents. No thank you.... I'm not a fan. And where there are mice.... there are ticks. Again, I'll pass!

Ticks are horrible pests. They are more active in winter now because of the mild temperatures. I have had more than my fair share of ticks on me. I would be very happy to never see another. I went for a walk with my son a few weeks ago and sure enough.... there was another one on me. I was completely covered with a coat, sweater and shirt and it still found its way to my skin. If you are in an area which is known for large tick populations (which is ever expanding into most regions), clean up the leaf litter in the fall. Don't wait until spring. Don't stop enjoying walks and loving the gardens and the outdoors, but be smart. Make sure to wear repellent and always do a thorough check after being outside.

My lawns and gardens are always maintained from early spring to late fall and I use tick control tubes to help keep the population down as much as I can. They still love me but I will do what I can.

What else to do for your garden? Cleaning up your gardens early in spring will also give new grass time to establish and grow strong roots. Get the old dead grass off the surface with a good raking to remove damaged or diseased plants.

Inspect shrubs and remove dead/damaged branches and deadhead the flowering shrubs and prune to shape naturally. Be careful not to over prune. Cut back spent perennials.

Add soil to your gardens to add nutrients and a fresh layer of good quality mulch. Create a new fresh dug edge on your gardens and go enjoy a great cup of coffee as you admire your handiwork and dream up the new additions to your garden for this summer.

If you want to just skip to sitting on the deck with your coffee, call me. I am here to help make your gardens beautiful! I will do the clean up for you and start the planning process to make your gardens even more amazing.

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