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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Spring Cleaning

February and early March are the time of year to do your yard and garden cleanup.  It's past the worst weather, you get a few nice sunny but cool days to enjoy the outdoors, and best of all the weeds haven't started growing yet.  Once the weather gets warm weeds will start their Spring growth with abundance.  This time of year is when you scour your yard for any trash blown in during winter storms, or left next to the shed last summer when you didn't have time to take it to the dump.  Get these things cleaned up, turn over your compost (especially if you're like me and rarely remember to turn it), pull out weeds in paths and beds while the soil is still damp and soft.  If you have landscape work to do, like laying new paths or putting in new beds, or decorative mulching this is also a great time to do those things.  Getting a head start on these chores means not having to worry about them when it's actually time to plant.  It also means getting ahead of the weeds, so you don't have to weed much before laying paths or mulch.  You can also do a quick trim of trees now, to save yourself the trouble of trying to do it when they're in full leaf or blossom.  For fruit trees this will improve your harvest, for other trees it just helps them to keep a neat appearance, and may remove diseased or broken limbs that could cause issues later.

This is the time of year to get the yard tidy and ready for the growing season.
Start at one end of your yard and work your way around the house getting everything in the best possible shape before the growing season begins.  Remove dead plant matter, maybe wash your windows and power wash the house; clean off the roof and gutters too.  Once all of this is done you will be in great shape to enjoy your yard all spring and summer, and you'll be able to plant, grow, and harvest without wishing you had washed off the siding before planting your new tea roses right in front of it.

This year I will be replacing the pebbles in the path around our house, they have gotten very thin and weeds overwhelm the path rather quickly.  Also the landing below the front porch steps needs new gravel, it has sunk a bit and now becomes a lake when it rains heavily, and grows weeds the rest of the year.  I also plan to bark mulch the open areas around my garden beds, and lay a few stepping stone paths to the shed and fountain there.  Lastly, if my budget allows for it (which it may not since I'm also remodeling my kitchen right now) I plan to rake out the lava rock around the front lawn and replace it with bark mulch, and lay in a pebbled path to the shed on the front side so my husband won't complain about getting his motorcycle through the mud to the shed anymore.

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