The Benefits Of A Spring Cleanup

Contrary to what the current forecast might be telling you, Spring is IN FACT on the way.

We promise.

Since it’s not here yet, we think it is a good idea to get spring plans in order now so that you don’t find yourself with a surprise springtime family visit while your back yard looks like the Hindenburg just landed in it.

First things first:  If you didn’t have a fall cleanup, you will probably need a Spring Cleanup.

 

...pew.

The polar opposite of potpourri.

 

Not getting Fall cleanup means you have an entire Summer’s worth of leaves in your yard with an entire Winter’s worth of rot going to town on it.  What this also means: your yard is going to smell.  For that fact alone, you are going to want to get rid of them ASAP (and make yourself a mental note to do this in the Fall, when it is A LOT easier).

 

That fresh organic-material smell!

Protip: raking freshly fallen leaves in the Fall is a lot easier than raking wet/rotten leaves in the Spring.

 Step 1: Raking.

This is going to take a while.  These leaves are wet, heavy, and will not hold together well at all while you scramble to get them all into a pile so you can do SOMETHING with them. You can save some for compost if that is your thing, but most folks will just bag them up and bring them to the dump.

 

kindling

Doing this also builds character.

Step 2: Pickup Sticks.

We mean this literally.  Aside from dropping leaves all over the place, trees tend to drop a lot of twigs, sticks, and sometimes whole branches over the course of the Winter.  These need to be picked up and disposed of before the moisture and warmer temps get these rotting too.

We wish there were some sort of clever use for these sticks you are going to find everywhere, but they are sticks.  Just get rid of them.

 

thatch me if you can

Before, and after dethatching.

 Step 3: Dethatching.

Thatch is the layer of dead grassy junk and left over clippings that collects in-between the healthy green layer of your lawn and the soil.  Removing this stuff will help the healthy part of your lawn get a solid start AND it will help expose the soil to sunlight, oxygen, and water.

Dethatching is best done prior to the first mow of the season, and most professional maintenance companies will take care of this for you.  If you are doing it yourself, all you need is a dethatcher and a riding mower.  There are some smaller walk-behind models and specially-designed rakes, but they don’t usually provide you with as good of a result and can take A LOT longer.

 

Aeration diagram

How aeration works.

Step 4: Aeration & Overseeding

Aeration is the process of punching little tiny holes in your lawn to loosen the soil, and expose it to things like oxygen, water, fertilizer and other essential nutrients.  This is done with medieval-torture-device looking piece of equipment called an ‘aerator’.  Again, you will see the best results from a professionally performed aeration, but you can do this yourself if you have the proper equipment.

After the aeration comes the over seeding.  Simply put, the lawn gets fresh grass-seed spread over the entire area. The new germination strengthens the existing lawn, and helps the grass grow much thicker over the course of the following growing season.

If you follow these steps, you will give your lawn a tremendous head start going into spring.  Your grass will grow in healthier, fuller, and greener as a result of your attentive care.

 

Happy Gardening!

~The Greencare Team

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