Skip to main content

10 simple yard cleanup tips that will make your life easier this spring

Spring is a season of freshness and new growth. Unfortunately, it’s also a time for heavy yardwork and landscaping after a long winter of forced neglect. Trying to get your yard, trees, bushes, and beautiful garden back into shape after they’ve been through the harsh cold season may seem overwhelming. That’s why we’ve broken down the task into 10 simple cleanup tips that will get your yard looking pristine for the summer.

What does a yard cleanup consist of?

After all the snow and ice, your yard is probably looking pretty drab. There may be a ton of debris from windy storms, and there are probably a lot of mangled trees, weeds, and dying spots of grass that need some TLC. A spring yard cleanup generally consists of three overall phases:

Related Videos
  • Removing debris
  • Trimming, pruning, and edging
  • Preparing for new growth

10 tips for yard cleanup in the spring

You want your yard to be a gorgeous oasis when the weather gets hot, so you’ll have to put in a bit of work in the spring. With the three phases of yard cleanup in mind, let’s dig into all 10 tips for making your yard pristine just in time for summer.

Removing debris

Tip #1: Purge your yard of branches and trash

It’s always surprising to see how much debris and garbage accumulates under all that snow. The first step on the list is to get all the rubbish out of the yard and into the trash bin. Collect any sticks and branches that have fallen under all that snow, and pick up any trash, pet messes, or other debris while you’re at it. This is also a good time to assess lawn ornaments and decor to determine if you want to keep it or haul it away.

Tip #2: Rake up leaves and debris

Grab your rake and start pulling leaves out of your gardens, off of your walkways, and away from the sides of your house or garage. You may find dead weeds and other yard waste while you’re raking. Pull them up and package all the debris in containers or bags to bring to the dump.

Tip #3: Hose off patios and walkways

Those hardscapes can get pretty nasty after a long winter of snow and ice. When everything starts thawing out, muddy water and debris pours onto walkways and patios, creating a filthy appearance. Grab your pressure washer and go to town on the hard surfaces. Sparkling clean walkways make your yard look instantly better.

Trimming, pruning, and edging

Tip #4: Trim trees and bushes

Trees and bushes add a lot of aesthetics to your yard, but they can easily become overgrown eyesores. Spring is the perfect time to trim back those beasts because they’re still bare and easy to work with. Snip off any branches that appear dead, are hovering over walkways, or are encroaching on the space and sunlight of other plants.

Tip #5: Prune perennials

If you have perennials in your garden, spring is the perfect time to prune them. Cutting back dead stems and leaves and shortening the height of the stalks is actually beneficial for the plant and will help it grow fuller in the summer while maintaining its health. Grab your pruning shears and get to work cutting back these garden favorites.

Tip #6: Use an edger to clean up walkways and gardens

You’re probably seeing a lot of messy and overgrown lines on your gardens and walkways. To correct the mess and give your yard a clean, pristine appearance, grab your edger. Edge along the sides of all sidewalks and garden beds for clean lines. Clean up any debris created with a broom or hose.

Preparing for new growth

Tip #7: Examine your lawn

Your grass is probably starting to show some new growth. Now that all the leaves and other debris are cleared off the lawn, take some time to walk around. Note the areas that seem to be struggling to sprout new blades of grass or have a lot of dead, discolored spots. Those are the areas you’ll need to seed and fertilize.

Tip #8: Seed and fertilize your lawn

Grab a rake, fertilizer, and grass seed, and get to work on your lawn. Spread seed first over the lawn, paying special attention to the areas you noted when you were examining it. Rake the lawn to get the seeds down into the soil. Then, apply fertilizer according to the product instructions. Make sure you water generously and keep the soil moist so the new grass can take root.

Tip #9: Remove the old mulch

Mulch is a great way to give a garden bed a facelift. It not only makes the garden look clean and tidy, but also preserves soil moisture and keeps weeds at bay. Your old mulch has to be removed first, though, before laying the new stuff. If you layer the new mulch over the old, you’ll be risking the health of your plants. Rot can occur under all those layers, and the soil could get starved for nutrients. Grab a shovel and a rake, and haul out the old mulch first.

Tip #10: Add new mulch

Once the old mulch is out, you can pile in the new mulch. First, be sure to remove any weeds that survived under the previous layer so that they don’t pop up come summer. It’s also a good idea to put down a layer of newspaper or other organic substance before mulching so that weed growth is discouraged.

Warm weather is on the horizon, and your yard will soon become a haven for family fun, recreation, and relaxation. Make sure your outdoor space is ready for all the action with this simple spring yard cleanup checklist.

Editors' Recommendations

Dish scrubbing brush vs. sponge: Which is better for cleaning dishes?
A close-up video of someone washing a fork in a sink.

The debate between dish sponge vs. brush can have many homeowners questioning which is best. While the sponge is often our tool of choice when it comes to doing the dishes, many homeowners argue that a dish brush can be just as handy! Whether you're trying to decide what will best scrub your stuck-on stains or which tool will help you to maximize your dish soap, we have everything you need to know.

Here are the pros and cons of both of these scrubbing masters to see if you should make the switch from one to the other. The upgrade might be the improvement you need to revamp this pesky chore once and for all. 

Read more
When you should (and shouldn’t) put used coffee grounds in your garden
coffee grounds mixed in the garden compost bin

Depending on how into gardening you are, you may be aware that putting used coffee grounds in your garden is a highly debated topic. Some people swear by using coffee grounds for growing plants, while others say it's the worst thing you can do for your garden. So which opinion is correct, and how do you know which side to trust? How do you know if you should – or shouldn’t – put used coffee grounds in your garden? We’ve researched the pros and cons for you and break them down below so you can decide how to use coffee grounds in the garden.

Should you use coffee grounds as mulch?
Using mulch in your garden can be beneficial, but many people find the cost of mulch too expensive to turn into organic matter. Straw and compost can be used as mulch, but not many people have tons of straw lying around, and compost takes months to create. So it seems as though coffee grounds would be the perfect solution for gardeners in need of mulch.

Read more
How to kill dandelions and keep them out of your lawn for the entire season
how to kill dandelions featured resized

Dandelions may look pretty when they first grow, and kids sure love them once they turn to fluffy balls of seeds, but ultimately, they are bad for your lawn. If you have a yard, you have undoubtedly encountered these pesky weeds. So, how do you kill them without killing your grass and keep them from coming back over and over? We’ve got some easy lawn care tips for you below so you can kill dandelions and have a weed-free plot that all of your neighbors will envy that lasts the entire season.

Learn about the enemy
The first step to killing dandelions for good is to educate yourself. Dandelions are part of a subset of weeds called broadleaf perennials, and this variety of weeds is notoriously difficult to remove. The main problem is that once a dandelion plant fully establishes its 10-inch taproot, the weed will come back year after year, hence the name "perennial." Not only does the pesky plant come back year after year, but it also spreads its seeds around your lawn continually, thus creating more and more weeds.

Read more