Spring Garden Cleanup in 6 Simple Steps

Did this year’s winter weather can leave you in need of a major spring garden cleanup session?

Once the ground has thawed and temperatures are consistently warm, it’s time to tidy up your yard and prepare for planting. If you’re not sure where to start, the following spring garden cleanup checklist should help.
Spring garden cleanup checklist

Step 1: Pruning

Weatherworn landscaping trees, shrubs and hedges often need pruning. Use a hand pruner, lopping shears or a pole pruner to cut back dead and damaged branches to live stems. For evergreens, prune back to branches growing in the direction you prefer. If you have spring-blooming shrubs, put off pruning until after they flower.

Step 2: Perennials

Cut back flowering perennials to a height of about 4 or 5 inches to allow for new growth. For winter-damaged rose canes, prune back to an inch below the dark area. If you have climbing roses, remove their older woody canes and tip the buds of young green canes downward. You can also dig up and divide perennials to create new plantings for sparse yard areas.

Step 3: Garden Beds

Next up is to clean around the plants in your garden beds. Pull up the spent annuals and rake out any dead leaves and foliage. Tamp down heaved outdoor plants, if necessary, and remove the existing layer of mulch to be prepared for spring planting.

Step 4: Compost

All the debris you removed from your garden beds? Dump it into your compost pile. Shred large leaves and chip down large branches for faster decomposition, or pick up a bagged compost starter from your local garden center. Remember to keep the compost moist and aerate the pile every two weeks.

Step 5: Garden Soil

Before you add new spring garden plantings, you should test your soil to ensure it’s primed for robust growth. Depending upon the results, you may want to work in some compost or a slow release organic fertilizer before you put any new outdoor plants in the ground.

Step 6: Garden Paths

Your hardscape surfaces may need a bit of neatening up now, too. Rake any escaped stones back into your gravel paths and add more if you notice any large depressions. If you have pavers that have heaved out of place, put them back to rights. Finally, use a pressure washer or hose to remove stains and algae growth.

Ready to get started with this year’s garden cleanup? For expert advice and all of the gardening supplies you need to spruce up your northern Utah landscape, head to Millcreek Gardens.

The leading Salt Lake City area garden center since 1955, Millcreek Gardens is happy to help you create a landscape you’ll love. To chat with our friendly and knowledgeable staff about spring garden cleanup, stop by today.