As the sun warms up our outdoor spaces, we’re all dying to head out to the garden to get a jump-start on spring cleaning, right? Sure, there’s a lot of work to be done, but doing these chores right will be well worth it once those first blossoms come up from the ground. Here’s how to make these spring cleaning tasks easier.
Preserve a habitat for beneficial insects
Because many good-for-your-garden bugs are still hibernating in the piles of leaves and dead stems, you don’t want to simply get rid of everything in your flowerbeds. That’s because beneficial insects, such as pollinators, lacewings and parasitic wasps are important guests in our yards. When you begin to see new growth, carefully cut down woody plant stems and wilted perennials and pull out dead annuals, gently laying everything on your compost pile. This way, when these insects wake up, they’ll be able to keep your garden humming. This is a good time to loosen up the soil in your beds with the Weasel Garden Claw, too.
Wait to rake and mulch
We know it feels very satisfying to vigorously rake up layers of wet autumn leaves so that fresh green sprouting plants can get more sunshine. But it’s best to wait until daytime temperatures hover around the 50s, because deep in those piles are the eggs of other beneficial insects like ladybugs, soldier beetles, along with adult butterflies and Luna moths. Hold off on the mulch, too. Once the air is warmer and the soil dryer, they’ll get out of your way and you can rake and mulch to your heart’s content.
Give your lawn some love
As the snow melts, you’ll see all kinds of things in your grass that don’t belong there – such as fallen branches, dog waste and litter that was blown in over the winter. Grab a pair of sturdy gardening gloves, and clear everything away so new healthy grass can begin to grow. Get rid of any remaining dead leaves, pinecones and small twigs using the Weasel Large Nut Gatherer, while you’re at it.
Reach for the right tools
You may already notice the first weeds growing out of the soil – it’s incredible how hardy they are, and they’ll steal sunlight and nutrients from the grass and other plants in your yard. Early spring is the perfect time to pro-actively get rid of weeds, because they’re small and the damp soil makes it easy to pull them out, so grab your Weasel Weed Popper Step & Twist and get to work. Push the tines onto the weed, press down with your foot and then twist the handles. The weed and its roots will pop right out – no back straining required! Bonus: the open plug left behind is a great way to aerate your lawn
Go easy with the pruning shears
Because you didn’t cut back your perennials and shrubs in the fall, they probably look pretty awful about now. Once you start to see new growth at the base, you can safely begin cutting them down. But before lopping off shrub branches randomly, wait until there’s no danger of frost, and have a close look at where the live growth is so you don’t cut off flowering buds.
Share your best tips for outdoor spring cleaning with us!