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The Homeowners' Guide to Spring Cleanup

Updated on April 25, 2020
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Author is a retired government worker at the state and federal level. He has freelance/publisher credits in national papers and magazines.

Part of spring cleanup is knowing what you want to do....

Reading up on the cold, windy, rainy  (snowy?) days.
Reading up on the cold, windy, rainy (snowy?) days. | Source

Spring cleanup saves summer hassles....

Right now in most of America the great outdoors still looks like the grey outdoors.

But now is the time to decide what the outdoors can be looking like, and what you can have it looking like come summer.

If you have a home, and plan any size of a garden, you probably have an idea what you wish the property and garden(s) will look like when it gets too hot to be laboring away outside in the hot sun.

To have it look like you imagine it can look, here are a few suggestions:

1./ Start any remaining plantings of seeds for later transplanting when the weather warms up.

2./ Give the final raking the yard and garden need so you can get off to a good start as soon as the weather allows.

3./ Prune now, if you haven't already done any needed pruning, so you don't damage the trees as the rush of sap starts to flow.

4./ Make sure you have the tools you need for the projects ahead and that they are in good condition (sharp, tight, serviced, etc.)

5./ If you will have brush, leaves, limbs to burn, check on the local statutes on when and how that can be done properly.

6./ If you have fruit trees, some jurisdictions require spraying to protect other fruit growers' trees, and for good quality fruits on your own trees you can check your country extension service to know when to spray and the best sprays to use.

7./ If you didn't get flower beds planted with all the flowers you want to see decorating the outdoors, check with a local nursery and/or the extension service to see what bulbs can still be planted for this year, and what flowers do well in the areas you want to plant; much depends on whether they will have full sun, some shade, or lots of shade.

8./ Check your supply of seeds, and which ones left over from last year will still germinate well this year, as well as which varieties grow best in your climate zone, and soil conditions. Here is a partial listing of seeds you may be considering using from a previous year:

9./ If you aren't sure whether your soils will need supplemental iron or fertilizers, find out how to get a soil test and advice that can help get the most out of the soils you will be working with.

10./ If you will be planting a large garden area, decide on how you want to prepare the soil for the best results. Will you want it plowed, can a good tiller do all you need done, are you going to rotate your plantings so as to avoid pests, and allow some areas to provide a different crop this year?

11./ Is the lawnmower tuned up and ready, including a supply of gas and the correct engine oil and filters, and are the blades sharp and tightened? If you need to take it into a shop, get a head start on the procrastinators who will be lined up there when the grass needs its first mowing!

12./ Plant the areas you want to plant, with the varieties you want, and small enough that you can take care of it properly. The old saying is a sound one: "One year of weeds, is seven years of (weed) seeds." The best gardens, be they vegetable or flower gardens in your neighborhood will be growing where the best gardeners live....and work.

13./ Unless you have a plentiful supply of gardening books at home, plan a trip to your local library and read up on how to have that "best garden." There are books on "square foot gardening", "veritcal gardening for small spaces", "growing balcony gardens", "raised beds gardening", "pruning", etc....and take along a pen and paper for making notes.

14./ Lastly, if you realize you have "an eyesore" that ruins the whole effect, start by tackling what you are going to do with that, and do it, recycling what you can.

It's always a good idea to maintain your property well enough that, if you had to sell in a hurry (for any reason) the property is ready to sell, and to yield the best price as soon as possible. Should that need (or wish) arise, you will have enough on your mind without doing a slap dab cleanup!

The Garden "helpers" may require some attention, too!

Properly cared for, your equipment, including shovels, rakes, etc., as well as mowers and tillers, can serve you for years and years.
Properly cared for, your equipment, including shovels, rakes, etc., as well as mowers and tillers, can serve you for years and years. | Source

Lawn, plants, and garden spaces....

Grapevine to the left, raspberries to the right, Chief Gardener in the middle.
Grapevine to the left, raspberries to the right, Chief Gardener in the middle. | Source

Taking it easy on the hot summer days....

The Chief Gardener without her sun protection.
The Chief Gardener without her sun protection. | Source

Copyright 2012, 2020 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved


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