Backyard Spring Cleanup 2018 Tips
Spring Cleanup Season
Spring cleanup 2018 will be notoriously unpredictable. Shrubs can be crusty with snow on the first of the month, and then, a couple of weeks later, temperatures can warm up enough for flower and leaf buds to show signs of life and throw you off guard. Some early spring cleanup tasks are sure things this time of year and last the test of time. So now is the time to remove the burlap from trees and shrubs as the weather warms. Prune away winter-Killed branches to make room for new growth. Cut back spent perennials and pull up old annuals if you didn’t get around to it last fall. Then look around. March is an excellent time to take stock and see if its time to thin out crowded beds and do some transplanting to fill in bare spots.
Prune dead-damaged branches
Where cold, snow, and wind have damaged tree or shrub branches, prune back; use a saw for any larger than ½ inch in diameter. Shape hedges with hand pruners, rather than electric shears, this prevents an outer layer of growth that blocking sunlight and air from reaching the shrubs centre. Prune summer-flowering shrubs, such as Rose of Sharon, before buds swell, but wait to prune spring bloomers, like forsythia, after they flower. Trim overgrown evergreens back.
Trim Back & Divide Perennials
Prune perennials to a height of 4–5 inches and ornamental grasses to 2–3 inches to allow new growth to shoot up. As soil thaws, dig up perennials, such as daylilies and hostas, to thin crowded beds; divide them, leaving at least three stems per clump, and transplant them to fill in sparse areas. Cut back winter-damaged rose canes to 1 inch below the blackened area. On climbers, keep younger green canes and remove older woody ones; neaten them up by bending the canes horizontally and tipping the buds downward. Use twine or Velcro to hold them in place. Use sharp bypass pruners to make clean cuts on both dead and living foliage.
Clean Up Plants-Planters
Rake out fallen leaves and dead foliage, pull up dead annuals and toss in with other organic yard waste. Apply fertiliser for existing plantings on the soils surface so that spring rains can carry it to the roots. Add a 5-10- 10 fertiliser around bulbs as soon as they flower to maximise bloom and feed next seasons growth.