Getting Ready for Spring: Tips for Yards and Gutters

by Ben SanfordFebruary 24, 2016

Yard Chores Will Soon Become Part of Your Weekend

Spring is almost here! The flowers are starting to bloom. The sun is giving us occasional glimpses of the glory to come, and the daylight hours are getting just a little bit longer each day. In short, it’s time to get your yard ready for spring, so here are some tips to help you do just that.

Over the course of the winter, you’ve probably been trying to keep the outdoor chores to a minimum. Well, now that the weather’s starting to warm up, you have no excuse not to roll up your sleeves and jump into action. Start by getting rid of all the debris that tends to collect over the winter months: fallen branches, dead leaves, and pine needles.
Man Cleaning Gutters on a Ladder Against a Brick House

Raking and Tending to the Lawn

You’ll probably already be using the rake for leaves, so why not give the lawn a good once-over? Raking your lawn will help it come back to life after its long, wintertime hibernation. You’ll also be clearing out thatch, which keeps sunlight from warming the ground and starves living grass of oxygen.

Spring is a sensitive time for your lawn, so aside from the occasional raking or fertilizing, do your best not to trample it, or it may have a tough time coming back after winter.

Weeds, Be Gone!

Weeds are the worst– they just keep on growing, and they can be difficult to kill. Whether you choose to use a chemical herbicide or a natural weed killer like corn gluten, success is a matter of timing.

Make sure you apply your pre-emergent weed control before the soil reaches 55 degrees Fahrenheit. You can get a soil thermometer at your local garden store, or just keep an eye on the neighborhood forsythias. When they start to bloom, it’s probably time.

Tree Trimming Time

When one of a patient’s limbs is no longer viable, sometimes amputation is the only option. Well, trees are the same way. Leaving dead tree branches can expose your tree to rot and fungus, and may compromise the tree’s overall health. If you’re not up to the task of removing high or particularly large limbs, call your local arborist. The shrubs and ferns you can probably handle on your own.

Tune Up Your Tools

When spring is in full swing, you want your gardening tools to be up to the task. Make sure your mower, edger, and weed whacker are in excellent working order, and take the time to sharpen your lopper, clipper, and other garden tools. Replace or repair anything that’s succumbed to neglect or breakage over the winter.

Clean Those Gutters

When properly cleaned, rain gutters are a wonderful invention. They protect your home from water damage by redirecting rainfall away from the home. But when they’re clogged, gutters can be more of a liability that an asset. Don’t forget to clean your gutters this spring, or you could end up with serious homeowner problems.
Man Clearing Leaves From Guttering Of House

All Systems Go

Wintertime can be especially harsh on your irrigation systems, especially if you forgot to drain them before the winter. Remove dirt and debris from sprinkler heads, and open your sprinkler valve slowly at first to prevent system damage. Check the pipes, heads, and nozzles for excessive wear, and if your system is electronically controlled, give the controller a checkup, too.

Hooray for Springtime!

If you’ve done everything on this list, then you’re ready to get to the enjoyable stuff, like planting beets and spinach, adding a new lawn gnome to your collection, or building a fancy new birdhouse. Have fun!


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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.

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