It has been one of the weirdest winters of my life this year.  Almost no snow, record high temperatures, and what seems to be probably an early spring.  I found myself asking “is there anything I can do to get a jump on spring?”

Start your spring cleanup early


As soon as we have had a dry stretch of maybe a week or so, and you can stand to be outside, start your spring cleanup.  Get a leaf rake through your lawn areas, identify anywhere that is now bare soil, and topdress with 1″ of potting mix or topsoil and sprinkle with grass seed and seed mulch.

ezmulch-Bag-600x384Seed mulch is not cheap, but it’s so handy and effective.  It is pelletized ground paper and usually some sort of fertilizer mixed in.  It’s activated by water.  It breaks down and protects the seeds from blowing away.  It also keeps the moisture and nutrients between the seeds and the soil where they need to be.pellets


Clean out your beds  Get into your landscape beds and remove any weed skeletons, cut back any perennials you may have missed in the spring, lightly rake and cultivate your mulch, pull leaves and debris out of your beds.  Be very careful not to kill or damage any young, newly emerging bulbs.  spring-garden-snowdrops-rake

If you have grasses you left up over the winter, now is a perfect time to cut them back.  A gas hedge trimmer is a fast and easy way to do this.  Tie the grasses together with twine or string of some kind just above the ground.  Run your gas trimmers between the grass and the ground being careful not to cut into the soil.  Dispose of the top in your burn pile or in your garden waste bags.  The closer to spring you cut them back, the bigger and fuller they will be be in their full glory in summer.cutbackandfreshlymulched

Edge your beds and rake the mulch from the new, clean edge so that the surface is smooth and the grade slowly floats to the top of your bed grade. Install 2-4″ of fresh mulch making sure not to allow mulch to touch the base of your trees.  This can cause disease and suffocation to your trees in the long run. freshly mulched mulching-794901

It’s too soon to start cutting your lawn but in the next 2 weeks, a balanced rate of all mineral or organic fertilizer wouldn’t hurt.  As soon as the temperatures are consistently over 45 degrees F, and as soon as you want to start weekly grass cutting, go ahead with your first cut.  I recommend cutting a little shorter than usual, raking up the clippings, and cutting again.  After that get ready for quick green-up and lush, green grass sooner than all of your neighbors!

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