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  • Writer's pictureKassi K.

Spring Cleanup Landscaping: A Handy Checklist

As winter wanes and signs of spring begin to emerge, it's time to prepare our outdoor spaces for the vibrant season ahead. Spring cleanup landscaping is an essential task that sets the stage for a flourishing garden and a visually appealing landscape. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a novice enthusiast, having a handy checklist can streamline the process and ensure no task is overlooked. From tidying up winter debris to pruning, mulching, and revitalizing garden beds, this guide will walk you through the essential steps of spring cleanup, empowering you to transform your outdoor space this spring.

spring cleanup landscaping

What Is Spring Clean Up for Landscaping?

Spring clean up for landscaping refers to the process of preparing outdoor spaces for the growing season after the winter months. It typically involves removing debris such as fallen leaves, twigs, and branches that have accumulated over the winter, as well as clearing out any dead or decaying plant material. Additionally, spring cleanup may include edging garden beds, pruning shrubs and trees to remove dead or damaged branches, dividing perennials, and applying mulch or compost to nourish the soil and suppress weeds. The goal of spring cleanup is to rejuvenate the landscape, promote healthy growth, and create an aesthetically pleasing environment for the warmer months ahead.

Your Spring Cleanup Landscaping Checklist

By following this spring cleanup landscaping checklist, you'll ensure your outdoor space is primed for the growing season ahead, setting the stage for a beautiful and bountiful garden. Here is your comprehensive spring cleanup landscaping checklist to guide you through these essential tasks.

1. Clear Debris

Remove fallen leaves, twigs, and any other debris that has accumulated over the winter from lawns, garden beds, and pathways. This is generally an easy task that can be accomplished with a rake and will give your lawn and growing beds a clean and fresh start to the season.

2. Prune Trees and Shrubs

spring pruning

Trim back any dead or damaged branches from trees and shrubs to encourage healthy growth and shape the plants. Different types of trees and shrubs may benefit from pruning at specific times of the year, so be sure to reference our Spring Pruning Guide for more detailed information.

3. Cut Back Perennials

While it is not uncommon to trim back perennials in the fall, we highly recommend leaving any of this perennial maintenance for the spring. This helps to insulate plants during the winter, provides shelter for beneficial bugs and animals during the cold months, and add winter interest to your landscaping. Now that spring is here, it is time to trim back dead foliage and stems from perennial plants to make way for new growth and divide overcrowded clumps (such as irises) if necessary.

4. Edge Garden Beds

Define the borders of your lawn and garden beds by edging them with a spade or edging tool. This creates clean, crisp lines and a fresh, manicured look.

5. Weed Control

Remove weeds from garden beds and pathways to prevent them from competing with your plants for nutrients and water. This is so important, as weeds that are left unattended will develop deep, strong roots and will go to seed, spreading hundreds of other seeds to sprout in other areas of your property.

6. Mulch Application

mulching landscaping in spring

Apply a layer of mulch to your growing beds to suppress weeds, retain moisture, and regulate soil temperature. Ensure existing mulch is refreshed if needed by “fluffing” with a rake or other lawn tool.

7. Inspect and Repair Hardscapes

Check pathways, patios, and retaining walls for any damage or signs of wear and tear. Winter in Colorado can be tough on hardscapes. Repairing or replacing any damaged areas right away will greatly help to mitigate extensive damage in the future.

8. Clean and Sharpen Tools

This task is best done in the fall at the end of the previous growing season, however, if you neglected taking care of your tools and machinery, now is the time to make sure they are in proper working order. Clean gardening tools, including pruners, shovels, and hoes, and sharpen mower blades to ensure they are in optimal condition for the season.

9. Fertilize and Amend Soil

Apply a balanced fertilizer to garden beds to provide nutrients for spring growth. Test soil pH and add soil amendments to your growing beds as needed. This will ensure that your soil is full of nutrients, maintains ideal moisture levels, and resists compaction throughout the growing season. Learn more about how to amend your soil here!

10. Inspect Irrigation System

how to turn on irrigation system in spring

Living in Colorado, all sprinkler systems must be winterized before the weather gets cold. Now that spring is here, it is time to turn your systems back on! Check you irrigation systems for leaks, clogs, or other issues, and adjust timers and sprinkler heads as necessary to ensure proper coverage. Learn more about seasonal irrigation system maintenance in our blog.

11. Inspect Lawn

Assess the condition of the lawn, aerate if needed, and overseed any bare patches. Spring is the best time of year for this, as the cool and moist conditions of early spring are ideal for establishing a healthy lawn. It is also recommended to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent weed growth in your lawn throughout the season.

12. Plan and Plant

Take stock of your garden's layout and plan any new plantings or landscaping projects. It is always helpful to make notes at the end of the previous growing season regarding what went well, things you want to change, etc. If you did this, refer to those notes as you plan for the upcoming season. Then head to your local Garden Center to purchase any seeds, plants, or bulbs as needed. You will also be able to find any gardening tools and supplies needed for your upcoming gardening endeavors.


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