Garden Care, Landscape Science, Landscape Services, Lawn Care, Tips And Techniques

Preparing for Growth: How Spring Cleanups Set Your Garden Up For A Successful Season

Garden Care Spring cleanup

Spring is an exciting time in the garden. Here in Northern Michigan, the daffodils and hyacinths are blooming, the first of the spring-flowering trees are putting on their blossoms, and all manner of green shoots are springing up.

With all of the excitement comes a lot of work, though. Preparing the garden for summer takes time and energy, and our Garden Care Team is hard at work getting client sites ready for the summer. In this post, we’re going to look at why spring cleanups are important and share some quick tips to help you navigate your own spring gardening.

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Why do spring cleanups matter?

Here at Drost, spring cleanups are the first big job our Garden Care Team tackles for the season. They lay the foundation for a successful summer garden, giving plants their best chance at thriving. In the spring, trees, shrubs, and perennials are just waking up. In the same way that people have specific things they need in the morning to set them up for a successful day–that cup of coffee is a real game-changer–plants have specific needs as they wake up for the season. Meeting those needs in a timely manner will help your garden grow well and look great throughout the summer and into fall.

What is a garden spring cleanup?

We’ve covered why spring cleanups are important for your garden’s well-being, but what exactly does a spring cleanup entail? Not every spring cleanup is the same, but some of the tasks encompassed in cleaning up your garden may include:

  • Cleaning up leaves from last fall (dead leaves can create a mat on your lawn and gardens, a perfect breeding ground for pests and diseases)
  • Trimming back perennial stalks and ornamental grasses (removing these in the spring makes room for new growth and freshens up the appearance of your garden)
  • Fertilizing your trees, shrubs, and perennials (an added boost of nutrients in the spring helps strengthen plants for the season–be sure to follow all instructions for whatever fertilizer you use carefully!)
  • Amending your soil (if you have heavy clay soil or soil that’s too sandy, incorporating organic materials like compost can help improve drainage and increase nutrients in your landscape)
  • Mulching your flowerbeds (for new beds, add about three inches of mulch–for beds you’ve been mulching consistently over the years, just add enough to cover last year’s mulch)

What’s the most important part of a spring cleanup?

Sometimes, spring cleanups can be overwhelming. It can seem like there are a lot of things to do–and a short window in which to do them! If you’re looking at your garden and wondering what garden cleanup task is the most important, our team recommends starting with these two: removing leaves and fertilizing.

Removing last fall’s leaves is often the first step on a spring cleanup. A few leaves here and there certainly aren’t a problem for your landscape, but lots of leaves can create a dense mat across your lawn and garden. A thick leaf layer can hold in too much moisture from snowmelt and rainfall, forming a perfect breeding ground for pests and diseases. It can also suffocate tender young plants, including lawn grasses, and block out the sun, leading to decline and eventual death of the plants. Removing these leaves gives your plants and lawn the room, light, and airflow they need to start growing.

As plants start growing, they’re looking for whatever nutrients they can find after their long winter’s nap. Fertilization is important to give them a nutrient boost as they start their growing season. Make sure you wait until the ground has thawed completely before fertilizing, and follow all instructions carefully to ensure the continued health of your plants and lawn. If the idea of fertilizing makes you feel a little nervous, don’t panic! Our team has the experience and expertise to help.

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From fertilization to irrigation, our team is ready to help your entire yard thrive.

Spring certainly is one of the most exciting times to be gardening, and the work we put in now will yield bountiful benefits as the season progresses. As you prepare for another great year in the garden, keep these tips in mind to help your landscape thrive this spring!