Spring Cleanup Tips For Your Property

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Today is the first day of Spring, and I’m so excited for another season of the beautiful Canadian outdoors.

Although it may not feel like Spring in many places still covered in snow, the snow will soon start to disappear.

Ontario Spring Cleanup tips
Spring Cleanup tips to keep your property looking pristine

Let The Spring Sun Shine

I hope the bright, yellow blooms of the Forsythias are not too far off, as many say that spring is here to stay when the Forsythias are in bloom. 

I’ve already prepared my spring garden using odd containers around the house.

That’s only one step for me to get ready for the spring season.

Cleanup of my yard takes top priority this time of year and should also be on your list.

While Spring is my favourite season, it always starts out looking pretty yucky.

The mud and wet, dull grass as the ground starts to thaw and reveal all the garbage and debris that has sat under the snow all winter.

Good property cleanup and early maintenance will prepare you for a better growing season.

Spring Cleaning Checklist

Mr. CBB has a great list of spring cleaning chores and reasons for maintaining the outside of your home as the spring season begins.

While his lists include many of the spring cleaning chores inside your home, he also mentions a few good ideas for giving the outside of your home a simple facelift.

Early Spring Property Maintenance

Good spring cleanup of your gardens and lawn is a smart way to save yourself some yard work later in the year.

Taking a preventative approach rather than having to backtrack and fix things that should have been done at the beginning of Spring conquers the start.

If you bur lapped any bushes or plants on your property once the temperature is consistently above 5 degrees Celsius, you should take it off.

If the burlap is left on once it warms up, it can cause the plant to sweat, causing stress to the plant.

Plants that experience any stress are often more susceptible to pest damage and disease so that’s something to watch out for.

Raking Lawn and Flower Beds

spring cleanup

Raking leaves and plant debris hidden under the snow will help make a property look cleaner and remove plant debris that may harbour disease.

Use a rake to clean up debris in or around shrubs, including leaves, broken branches, and garbage.

Store any leaves in a compost bin to break down, which would be great for the soil and save you some money.

Use your hands to get into the centre of some plants to remove the debris.

Get used to the dirty work as a homeowner unless you plan to hire someone to do the job.

I have customers who hire me to come to their homes every year in Ontario to help get their property on the go for Spring, summer, and fall.

For various reasons, they are unable to, and landscaping services are what I specialize in.

Spring Removal Of Annuals

This is also an excellent time to remove any annuals left in your flower beds from the previous year.

Waiting until the grass has dried up considerably to rake the lawn is best to limit how much you contribute to compacting the soil.

Avoid walking on the grass until it has dried up; it will also help decrease compaction.

Aerating helps reduce compaction though you must call a landscaping company unless you own an aerator.

If you are lucky, you might have some door-to-door salespeople come knocking who will aerate your lawn for about $20, depending on the size.

Any leaves and plant debris can be added to a compost pile.

Spring Pruning

Use a sharp pair of pruners or loppers, depending on how big the diameter of the branches is to cut off any winter kill on shrubs and roses.

Cutting off dead, dying, or diseased branches will help to encourage new growth.

If you have any climbing roses, you can cut off the thicker, older canes to encourage new growth of younger canes you can train to climb.

Now is the time to start this so you can sit back and enjoy the beauty of the blooming season.

Any perennials not cut back in the fall can now be cut back to the ground.

Cut back any ornamental grasses, although you shouldn’t cut them to the ground.

Leaving an inch or two will ensure that you are not cutting the crowns, which will kill your grass.

Summer-blooming shrubs such as Weigela and Viburnum produce their flower buds on new growth, so they should be pruned in the Spring.

Cutting off any winter kill and thinning out some inner branches will open up the shrub for better air circulation when the shrub buds and leaves out.

Air circulation throughout the shrub can impact the shrub’s health and susceptibility to pests and diseases.

Spring-blooming shrubs such as Spirea and Forsythia should not be pruned until after flowering.

If you prune them back in the Spring, you may not have any blooms as you will cut the flower buds that grow on old growth from the previous year.

Mulch

If you plan to replace the mulch in your gardens this year, stripping the old mulch off in early Spring will be one less thing you must do before planting your spring gardens.

You can spread the new mulch once you have done your planting.

If you remove mulch, add it to your compost bin or start one if you do not have one.

Why pay for compost to turn into your garden when you can make your own?

A good layer of mulch, about 2 inches deep, will help stop or slow down the growth of weeds, help to hold in moisture, and regulate soil temperature.

Turning the soil in your flower beds with a garden fork helps to relieve compaction and improve drainage.

At the same time, you can improve the nutrients and minerals in the soil but adding some compost.

When soil is compacted, it affects how well the soil will drain and how air, nutrients, and minerals reach the roots of plants.

Over-Seeding Grass

The bursting yellow blooms of the Forsythias are a good indicator that you are safe to put down grass seed.

Rough up bare areas and level the ground with a garden rake.

You may want to top-dress the area with fresh topsoil before laying down any grass seed.

I recommend this for larger areas to promote ideal growth.

Fertilizing Soil

Once spring bulbs emerge from the soil, some fertilizer will help ensure long-lasting blooms and feed the bulb for next year’s growth.

A spring fertilizer application on your lawn gives you a much better chance of having fewer problems with weeds, pests, and diseases.

A healthy lawn is your best defense against weeds and other pests.

Thinning Out/Transplanting

As the perennials in your flower beds emerge from the soil, it is a great time to look at your property to see what plants you can thin out.

Such plants as hostas, day-lilies, and grasses can be divided and transplanted to fill any holes or bare spots in your gardens.

You will save money by getting your plants for free or selling them on sites like Kijiji or giving them away on freecycle.

Don’t wait to post the ads; the sooner the plants return to the ground, the better for the plant.

 Snow Mold

snow mold pink
snow mold pink – Wikipedia source

What is Snow Mold?

Snow mold is a fungus that will show up on your lawn once the snow has melted.

Snow Mold may damage or even kill your grass, so it’s essential to recognize it immediately.

As soon as the snow melts in Spring, if you see circles in your lawn that are anywhere from 3 inches to 12 inches in diameter, you most likely have snow mold.

These circles can sometimes be hard to see because if you have a lot of this mold, the circles often blend so that you may see large patches.

Snow mold is found in areas with cold winters where the ground is consistently covered with snow.

Two types of snow mold can attack your grass Pink Snow Mold and Grey Snow Mold.

Pink snow mold is the more severe of the two, potentially killing the roots and crowns of the grass in your lawn.

Grey snow mold typically does little damage to the roots and crown of the grass rather it affects just the blades of the grass.

Snow mold can survive throughout the summer, although you will only see it after the snow melts.

During the summer, it may live in any leaves or plant debris hanging around your property.

Severe snow mold may need a fungicide treatment to kill the unwanted pathogen.

How To Prevent Snow Mold

Snow mold pink or grey can appear in any grass, while Kentucky Bluegrass and fescue varieties seem to be least affected by it.

Regular grass cutting and raking will help prevent snow mold from showing up on your lawn.

Cutting your grass in the fall right before the first snowfall or even if there is a light dusting of snow on the ground is a good idea.

The more surface area of grass you have when the snow falls, the greater the chance your grass may become susceptible to snow mold.

Community Spring Cleanup

Join your community for a spring cleanup.

The garbage left behind on the sidewalks, parks, and parking lots once the snow disappears contributes to the yucky look of saying goodbye to winter.

Many cities and municipalities have organized cleanup days to get a group of people together to clean up as much garbage as possible in one day.

If you are interested in helping clean up your city or town, look into whether they have an organized event.

I have a strip of grass that runs along the road between our house and our neighbours that collects garbage all summer.

Unfortunately, the garbage in their car gets chucked out the window onto my property.

The kids and I walk this strip often throughout the summer, so after the winter and spring.

We do our part to keep our community clean, so give it a try to be proud of where you call home.

Are you prepared to give your property inside and out a good spring cleaning?

Discussion: What other spring cleaning tips for property maintenance can you think of? Leave me a comment below.

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3 Comments

  1. I’m another one that has to wait until the ground dries up before working much back there as we are at the bottom of a hill so we take a long time to dry out!! Last year I was working in the raised beds by walking along the top of the walls. The ground was still soaked!!! Made things interesting to say the least!!!

    1. I think you are right Jane as our backyard is pretty much still full of snow and it will be a while before we can get in there.

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