7 steps to a beautiful spring garden clean-up

garden seating area in springTwo-plus months in to the year, how are you doing with those New Year’s resolutions? Luckily, the gardening year in the Boston area is just starting, so you have a chance to start off on the right foot with your outdoor plans. Doing a thorough and careful spring clean up lays the groundwork (no pun intended!) for a year of trouble-free gardening:

  1. Prune dead and broken branches from ornamental trees and shrubs, repairing any snow damage.
  2. Prune roses and renew over-grown shrubs before new growth starts. This will ensure vigorous growth, and improved flowering and shape for the rest of the year.
  3. Remove leaf litter from around trees and shrubs to prevent the spread of disease.
  4. Rake lawn areas. Assess bare areas, and either overseed or plan new planting beds if lawn is not the best choice. If possible, postpone new lawn installations until late summer.
  5. For a clean look, hand-edge beds before mulching. This keeps mulch from spilling out onto the lawn, and discourages grass from rooting into the beds.
  6. Add compost to planting beds. If you shredded and piled leaves last fall, this is the time to add that good organic material back to the soil.
  7. Add well-composted mulch to planting beds, to a depth of 2-3″. This will reduce weeds and add organic material to the soil. Do not use mulch that has a sour smell, as it may harm your plants.

For more maintenance tips, see our Yard Maintenance Owner’s Manual (PDF).

Get more inspiration for spring gardens on our Spring Forward Pinterest board.