It’s undeniable: spring is in the air! Temperatures are getting warmer, rain is falling steadier, and plants are poking through the surface. This is an exciting time to plant, grow, and cultivate – but a number of tasks need to be completed now that winter is over! Check out the tips below to ensure that your yard is ready for spring:

Clean Up Inside and Out

Spring clean happens indoors as well as out. Ready to tend to the garden of your dreams? That won’t be able to happen with winter’s remnants in the way. Before planting, head into the yard and remove anything that shouldn’t be there – animal feces, dead grass and leaves, branches, and dead leaves and stalks on perennials. Be sure to add leaves to your compost pile, or look into your town’s leaf collection services. Keep an eye out for litter that could have been concealed by snow, too.

Tackle Weeds

Weeds will only become more persistent as the weather continues to warm, so plan to start addressing the problem now. Cut weeds off about a half-inch below the soil – this keeps new seeds from coming to the surface. If you know weeds will continue to grow, use landscape fabric and mulch in garden beds. In the yard, use pre-emergent herbicides to keep them out for good.

Check for Critters

To start your landscaping off right, you’ll need to determine what wildlife has moved in. Rabbits, squirrels, and other animals may have decided that your yard is their new home. It’s best to leave animal homes alone, but do some research on how best to remove a nest if that becomes necessary.

Prepare your Tools

Head into the garage and dust off, sharpen, lubricate, or otherwise tend to the tools you’ll use this spring. Take note of anything that is broken or missing so that you can purchase new ones now, and not when you realize you need them.

Invest in New Mulch

Applying new mulch on top of old can suffocate plants, so take care to remove deep layers of mulch first. If your perennials are beginning to push up, remove mulch; apply more when the weather begins to get cold again. Apply mulch to your garden beds, as well as around trees and shrubs.

Prepare for Mowing Season

Check first that your lawnmower is in good condition (which, if you prepared your tools in the step above, it should be!). Mow the grass once it is about two to three inches tall. Be sure to sharpen the mower blade every couple of months for best results.

Tidy the Rest

Check that all your lawn ornaments, hardscape, and wooden structures made it through the winter without any damage. Fix or replace anything that needs it. This is a great time to survey the exterior of your home, too. Are any branches obscuring the windows, or do they need to be cleaned? Does the exterior of the home need to be power washed, does the patio need care, or could the driveway use some weeding? Remove any last signs of winter’s debris!

By following these tips, you will soon be ready to plant, tend, and grow your landscape into the envy of the block. After all, spring has finally sprung – let your hard reflect the beauty of the season!