Spring is a time to pave the way for bright flowers, fresh smelling grass and a beautiful garden to be enjoyed during the warmer months. To prepare the yard and have it ready for summer, follow these steps from Victa, the Australian garden expert, to help revive the lawn from its winter slumber and bring it back to life this spring.
HOW TO SPRING CLEAN THE YARD
Assess the Damage
Scan the yard for dead leaves, fallen branches and twigs that have accumulated over winter and remove. This makes it easier to inspect the soil, lawn, shrubs, trees and garden beds to determine what needs to be repaired. A blower will make collecting the fallen leaves easier and quicker.
Rake to Wake
Rake up any matted areas of the lawn (dried or dead grass) to literally ‘wake’ it up and encourage growth. Raking the lawn and removing any debris from it will encourage better air flow throughout the grass and prevent disease or insect infestation.
Aerate the Lawn
To achieve and maintain a beautiful lawn, it is important to aerate as it relieves soil compaction and helps air and water penetrate built-up grass. Perforate the soil with small holes to allow the lawn to consume more oxygen, moisture and nutrients to help the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, vigorous lawn. It is important to aerate the soil when it’s moist, or before it reaches 55 degrees, to avoid the growth of aggressive weeds
Wrestle the Weeds
Preventing weeds during spring helps maintain a beautiful yard during summer. To control a common spring weed like crabgrass, apply a pre-emergent crabgrass control before the soil reaches 55 degrees to avoid seed germination. Other weeds like White Clover and Capeweed can be controlled by pulling them out by hand or by actively spraying them with herbicides to prevent further sprouting. To also help stop the growth of new weeds, never cut more than one-third from the leaf blade as this will scalp the lawn and grass blades will be susceptible to stress, insects and diseases.
Time for Fertilisation
Winter can wreak havoc on gardens and lawns and fertilising is key in returning it back to its healthy state because it speeds up new growth and helps establish strong roots to withstand heat stress and drought through summer. It also creates a healthy grass root system that makes it difficult for weeds to grow. Fertilise with compost, aged manure or an all-purpose organic fertiliser to assist with growth as the warmer weather approaches. Apply fertiliser evenly in opposite walking directions, a trick used by the pros, to avoid streaks.
Work the Water
Water the lawn after applying fertiliser to improve its efficiency. Better yet, try to apply it just before it rains. Lawns and gardens should receive an initial soaking of 10 centimetres deep and watered again when the top layer of soil dries out in order to develop deep, healthy grass roots. Water the yard before the sun goes down to avoid disease-carrying fungi and mould. Apply three to five centimetres of water a few times a week to encourage root growth.
Prune the Plants
Prune any broken, diseased or dead limbs from trees with a chainsaw and plants with a hand pruner to make way for new growth. Cut back any remaining dead perennial foliage and fruit tree buds before they bloom to avoid stressed crops. Roses can also be pruned before they bud out to help reduce disease and encourage air circulation. Dormant oil, a spray consisting of refined petroleum oil, can also be applied to trees and shrubs to smother overwintering insects such as aphids, scales or spider mite infestations.
Prep the Tools
Start the spring season with a lawn mower that has a sharp blade to properly trim instead of just ripping the grass, which results in vulnerability to disease and water loss. If the lawn has hard-to-reach places, invest in a versatile trimmer to slash through tricky, tight areas that a lawn mower cannot get to.
Products to help with a spring clean:
- Removing debris: Victa V-Force+ 40V Jet Blower
- Pruning: Victa V-Force+ 40V Chainsaw
- Trimming: Victa V-Force+ 40V Trimmer
- Mowing: Victa V-Force+ 40V 18” Lawn Mower Cordless Steel Mulch or Catch