Spring is the perfect time to prepare your yard for the growing season ahead. From DIY pruning and yard cleaning to consulting with a professional, a bit of preparation can ensure your yard looks great all year long.

Kim Schlise, owner of Garden Gate Nursery in Hartland explains that “when pruning, a good start is to prune and remove any dead, diseased or damages stems right away. Dead and decaying branches attract insects and can eventually kill the shrub.”

To boost the growth of the spring bloomers, remove some of the older wood, cutting all the way to the ground. Doing this will allow the new, younger wood to bloom, and it will promote new growth.

Lilacs and rhododendron will grow flowers on the growth from the previous year so avoid any trimming of these early bloomers until late spring once the flowers are done.

Applying a turf builder or lawn fertilizer can be done in the spring, as long as the grass is active. The first round should be applied as soon as the grass starts to green, then two more times in late spring then late summer. Hold off on mowing grass for the first time until the yard is dry enough, usually in April or early May.

In general, “We recommend a good spring cleaning to move all old debris, fallen branches, any leaves left over from the fall,” says Schlise. “This should be done as early as possible as the grass will need that sunlight to grow.”

Early spring is the best time to top dress garden spaces with an active compost or a good, clean manure.

“Many people feel they need to till the garden until the soil is soft, this is a huge mistake many make,” explains Schlise. “Doing this not only disturbs the ecosystem, but the micro organisms the are needed to feed the vegetables and flowers are brought to the surface and eaten by birds, and other critters.”

It’s also important to read plant packages to determine germination time and grow time to ensure they’re planted under the right conditions.

Even for do-it-yourselfers, working with a professional can be a good choice, Lisa Trudeau of Land Works in Sussex explains.

When it comes to trimming shrubs and trees, "it's a skill and definitely something that you'd want to talk to a professional about." Improper trimming can change the shape of a plant, or worse, cause cuts than can lead to bad healing and susceptibility to disease.

Professionals can help identify what is causing lawn issues, ensuring that any improvements aren't just temporary patches.

For those who love to dig their hands in the dirt, “a professional can do the dirty work and get you set up for doing the things you love,” says Trudeau. “It’s nice to have things ready for you when it’s time to do the fun stuff.”

Finally, professionals can also help maintain and plan a yard that will stay beautiful all season long.

Land Works offer free estimates and initial consultations, and is happy to customize plans for any need.

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