Backyards should be places for relaxation, yet they can quickly turn into large areas of chaos when neglected. Instead of letting your yard become one big storage facility, take time each week to maintain and clean it properly.
Assemble your tools, and start clearing away dead plant matter from your yard. Raked up any leaves, weeds or rubbish accumulation and place in trash bags before disposing.
Mow the Grass
Maintaining a beautiful lawn can have a hugely transformative effect in any backyard. A lawn that has been professionally maintained, including regular trimming and mow at the correct height mowings, looks neat and helps prevent weed growth. To prevent damaging to your turf, only cut one-third of each grass blade at once to avoid cutting more than needed.
Weeds tend to flourish quickly in weak lawns and compete for sunlight, nutrients, and water with grass plants. To stop the proliferation of weeds from ruining your healthy turf lawn, combine improved maintenance practices with pre-emergent or post-emergent herbicide to kill them off and prevent future growth.
Mowing when your lawn requires it most – during a growth spurt, after fertilization or when weather conditions are dry – will reduce disease and overgrowth risk and protect aquatic plants. When possible, try to use organic or natural fertilizers rather than synthetic ones that could runoff into local waters and be harmful.
Ensure the instructions of any lawn treatment clearly state how long between applications. Aerating, dethatching and mowing can also help improve your yard’s health and appearance without chemical treatments. Use a mulching mower or shred clippings instead to use as natural fertilizer in your garden or compost pile.
Trim the Trees
A regular cleanup schedule for a backyard garden will keep it looking healthy and well-kept. Tending to it doesn’t take an expert, but does require appropriate tools. Gardening gloves for pulling out dead plants as well as rakes to remove leaves and branches will come in handy here.
Keeping your trees pruned regularly is important if your yard features trees. Doing so helps maintain a tidy appearance for your property, control weeds and encourage new growth while improving their health and lowering risks from storm damage while protecting against debris coming off wind or animals.
As soon as you start pruning a tree, begin by eliminating suckers – weak and unattractive growth that forms at the base of its trunk – that are never desirable branches and are draining energy from your plant.
Next, remove any crossing branches that rub against each other and can damage each other over time. Check your crown for dead and diseased branches; consider performing crown thinning or raising to reduce limbs without impacting plant structure.
Water the Lawn
Maintaining a lush and green lawn requires more than just cutting grass or trimming trees; it also needs regular watering. Most lawns need the equivalent of about an inch of rain per week – both natural precipitation and any additional irrigation from you or from Mother Nature herself – applied deep enough into the root zone for maximum effectiveness. A rain gauge or weather forecast can help track how much Mother Nature provides each week so you can supplement as necessary; too much moisture prevents roots from receiving oxygen, encouraging disease development.
Watering your lawn properly is key to minimizing chemical fertilizers and pesticide usage. During the summer months, aim to water at least twice weekly (at least 1 inch of water per week) with slightly longer grass mowing times to shade roots and keep them cool.
Even without a sprinkler system, it’s still possible to water your lawn using just a hose and an adjustable spray pattern sprinkler nozzle. In order to achieve even coverage of watering deeply and less often than shallowly and more frequently will help promote deeper root growth as well as make your grass more resistant against drought conditions.
Remove the Sprinklers and Hoses
Once a backyard becomes overgrown with overgrown bushes and weeds, broken yard furniture, and trash, it’s difficult to use it again. Before this can happen though, you will need to clear it all out first.
Once all dirt and debris have been eliminated, it’s time to clean your outdoor furniture. Soak a sponge in cleaning solution, wiping down each piece while paying special attention to any stubborn spots. Finally, dry everything off using a cloth.
If you own a sprinkler system, make sure that all of the sprinkler heads and hoses are turned off, with all buried. Take this opportunity to inspect for leaks; if any are detected turn off water at each sprinkler head and dig up pipe until damaged section can be identified; replace and plug up hole as soon as possible.
If you don’t already have one, installing one should be relatively straightforward. Your options for installation include above ground spray sprinkler heads or drip irrigation; either can run along the edge of your house and partially underground. For above ground systems, poly tubing, compression adapter and garden hose connected to an outdoor spigot will all be necessary for success.
Remove Leaves and Branches After a Storm
After a storm has passed through your yard can become in disarray. Broken branches, piles of leaves and debris are just some of the issues caused by such events; but don’t fret. Our storm cleanup checklist will help get it back into shape again quickly!
Before beginning to clean up the mess, conduct an initial walk-through of your yard to assess any safety hazards. Look out for downed power lines, trees leaning on those lines, any structural damage to homes or sheds and any ice or snow accumulation which needs to be cleared away first.
Rake your lawn to remove small debris like leaves and twigs to allow more sunlight into your grass’s root zone, prevent waterlogging, and provide adequate ventilation. It is also an opportunity to reseed any spots which appear sparse or dead.
Pick up any debris you see in your garden, such as pulled-out weeds and dead flowers, and place them into trash bags for disposal. If the rainfall caused standing water in your yard, consider renting a lawn vacuum to drain the area to prevent moisture accumulating near the foundation of your house. Likewise, ensure to regularly clear out your gutters to prevent clogging and flooding.
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Plant Flowers and Shrubs
As well as being an eyesore, fallen leaves, branches, and debris can harbor disease, fungus, and pests that will wreak havoc in your yard. Therefore, it’s crucial that when cleaning up, as much material is sorted through and cleared away as possible during cleanup.
Be sure to inspect your property for downed power lines or trees that pose a safety threat and contact a tree service if necessary. Also avoid approaching pools of water that have formed as these could serve as breeding grounds for bacteria and pests.
Once your garden beds have been cleared of as much debris as possible, it’s time to return them. Wait until temperatures remain consistently warm and dry as many species of bees and pollinators hibernate in plant stems and leaves and won’t emerge until then.
Once you’ve removed any dead weeds and debris, it’s important to rake the bed. Take this opportunity to take down any burlap wraps, wind screens or winter protection that was added in fall; also remove thick layers of leaves to give more sun to reach your soil underneath.
Check on the Garden
Before undertaking garden cleanup, it is vital that the weather be consistently warm. Pollinators have spent winter dormant in plant stems and leaves and must emerge when conditions allow. Also, wait until soil conditions have improved to reduce compaction issues.
Your backyard can quickly become an eyesore if you’re not careful, accumulating old garden tools, broken patio furniture and various pieces of debris that make using the area difficult and are simply taking up valuable space.
To maintain the health of your garden, it’s essential that it’s regularly examined. This means clearing away dead plants, weeds and debris from flower and shrub beds as well as inspecting its soil health as well as the surroundings for potential issues.
As part of your soil analysis, it’s a good idea to test its workability to gauge how easy it is for you to dig or till. If the soil forms clumps that are difficult to shovel away or forms lumps that require plowing up before planting occurs, its workability should be examined more carefully as this could indicate needing amending and could even result in poor drainage or compacted conditions if left alone.