Spring Cleaning-Tidy Up Your Yard Time for Spring
Spring Cleaning in the South
Tidy Up Your Yard Time for Spring Cleaning. I live on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, where there are over 20 miles of white sand beach and year round temperatures now is the time for spring cleaning. I grew up in Northern Michigan so I know how it feels to be COLD! Here on the coast the spring cleaning starts earlier than most parts of the country. Most of my plants from last year will continue to grow where they were planted last year. It is amazing to see petunia throughout the winter months still blooming in their pots during spring cleaning. The real spring cleaning involves trimming azalea bushes, pushing around the lawn mowers and the last of the Camelias that are covering the ground.
The temperature is expected to be in the 80's tomorrow, so I have already started the clean-up process. The azaleas are in full bloom and the pollen in the air is so thick the cars have turned yellow. Last week I began by raking the leaves that had dropped over the winter as well as the pine cones which covered the yard and ran lawn mowers over it for mulch. In case you are not aware Mississippi is a pine forest, trees cover the area and grow to over 70 feet tall. Well we took most of the debris and used it for our compost pile and ran the mulching mower over it several times to start the breakdown process.
Generally after the first hard freeze if we get one, I trim back all of the shrubs and remove dead plants. Any that may die back over the winter are removed in the spring. I use a mulching mower to clean up any leave or other debris from the backyard. Usually the grass has stopped growing by then and mowing over the leaves helps to keep things looking neat.
Here is a photo of the front of the house with some new rubber mulch around the azalea bushes in the front.
This is one of about 40 azalea bushes that grown around the fence in the backyard. There are many varieties of azalea and the people who lived in my house previously planted about 5 different types and colors. Some have large blooms while others are very petite ones.
A Guide to Spring Clean-up
1. Rake-out all garden beds, clear all weeds, clean out dead plants from planters and beds
2. Mulch or bag all debris
3. Using a leaf blower clear fine debris droppings
4. Redistribute mulch in flower bed, add additional where needed
5. Refill planter and garden areas with rich planting soil
6. Clean patio furniture with a mild bleach solution
7. Clean and refinish wood deck, patios and wood furniture
8. Clear and replace bird feeder and bird baths
9. Check sprinklers and automatic sprinkler systems
10. Plant new flowers and vegetable gardens
11. Fertilize garden beds
12. Aerate the lawn and spread weed and feed
If you live in a cooler climate start seedlings and keep moist. Those of us living in warmer climate may begin planting of hardy plant varieties. Once the clean-up is complete sit back with a tall cold glass of sweet tea and enjoy your yard.
Ready to Use Your Yard
One of the best ways to relax, especially after a long day at work is to sit in the backyard. I love to watch the birds at this time of year all of the migrating birds pass through on their way north. I keep my bird feeders filled every morning only to find that by supper time they are empty. As a retired science teacher I know that the nutrition I am providing for them will help them in their long journey.
I like to sit and rest with my husband every afternoon with a snack and a cool drink. We have a nice seat swing and a table I constructed out of some recycled wood I found last fall. Perhaps I will make a lens and show you how you can make one for yourself for only the price of some wood screws.
My sweet potato garden cleaned and ready. It grows purple vines with violet colored flowers never needs to be replanted. Just plant some sweet potatoes and let it go!