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14 Tips to Prepare your Home for Spring Landscaping

After winter’s long, frigid reign on your lawn, spring can’t come fast enough. You’re ready to start your spring cleaning and, most of all, your spring landscape. However, before that happens, you’ll first need to know how to prepare your yard for spring.

In this article, we will cover the basics, details, and commonly overlooked prerequisites that will help you shape your lawn into the spring landscape of your dreams. We’ll include approaches within various regions and climates, insights on how achievable your preferences are, and countermeasures you can take in the meantime. Below, you’ll find 14 yard spring tips and tricks that will help encourage your home’s landscape of spring.

1.)  Know your climate: If you’re looking for where to begin as far as how to prepare for landscaping, you’ll want to know this: Before you get too excited in the garden area or nursery of your local home improvement store, know the climate for your home. This includes your geographic location on the Earth, as well as the climate of your yard. Choose plants appropriate for how much sun, and shade different parts of your lawn receive during the day.

2.) Do your research beforehand: Similarly to a do it yourself project, plan out your strategy for your landscaping in advance. Are you going to break it up in phases, or are you going to hire a landscape professional to help you plan? Ask for guidance from your local nursery or neighbors who have beautiful landscaping! They can probably give you as good of advice as a professional.

3.) Know what local ‘pests’ are in your neighborhood: While you may think that all of you have to plan for is sun and water for your landscaping, think again – pests such as wildlife, insects, and stray animals can wreak havoc on your landscaping. Plan in advance if you will need fencing, wire mesh, or possibly planting natural plantings can deter and ward off many local pests.

4.) Plant landscaping at the suggested time of year: While you may be excited to plant your fruit trees and flowering shrubs, many plants will thrive better for years to come if you plant them at the suggested times of year that horticulturists and gardeners suggest. Look at gardening websites and ask at your nursery what times are best for the plantings you choose for your outdoor home.

5.) Plan for growth: When choosing landscaping and sizes of plants, estimate how large the plants will grow in 6 weeks, 6 months, etc… If you plant too many small shrubs in front of your living room window, and then find out they are actually small trees, you may have to dig them up soon! Most plants will have height and growth requirements on the pots when purchased from your nursery. Pay attention to these, before you plant.

6.) Get inspired: For some, inspiration comes from looking at neighboring yards, or traveling to other areas of your town to look at landscaping. While others seek inspiration from home and garden publications and satellite television do-it-yourself programs.  Often times a stroll through your local home improvement gardening center is all the inspiration to get you motivated.

7.) Map at the area: Once you know what type of plants you’d like at your home, map out, or stake out the area in which your plants will be planted. Estimate enough room for pedestrians walking around, as well as growth and future maintenance of your landscaping. Ensure walkways will have safe areas for footing, and tall plants will not obstruct view lines from inside your home.

8.) Plan for maintenance: Unlike a paint color in your home, once it’s up you’re done, landscaping requires maintenance and care. From pulling weeds, watering and pruning, to occasional replacement of dead plants, etc… Once again, plan what plants will suit your maintenance schedule. Consider hiring a professional gardener or lawn service to take care of your yard if necessary.

9.) Low and high maintenance plants: The beauty of landscaping and gardening is there are plants for every lifestyle, as well as every taste! If your home has a rustic or desert aesthetic, ornamental grasses that grow wild may be more suitable for your home. While if you live in a tropical region, flowering plants and shrubs may be more suitable. Check with a professional to see which ones suit you and your home.

10.) Contrast with your exterior home: Your landscaping should be an enhancement of your exterior home. Choose plants that compliment or contrast the colors in your home as well as the architectural time period of your home. A modern and minimalist home may enjoy a modern Zen-inspired landscape, while a Victorian home may have quaint gardens and flowering areas that are typical for the Victorian era.  Plan your outdoor landscaping to be in harmony with your exteriors.


11.) Clear your yard: Your rich turf and the entwined roots can easily become compromised by a trickling hose and matted grass. When plants are inhibited from releasing excess moisture, mold and pests can view these ideal circumstances as an invitation to come live in your yard. Pick up any items in your yard, suspend your hoses, and prevent your grass from getting matted during fall and winter.

12.)Don’t slack during the last weeks of winter: Even when winter is ending, your efforts to maintain your yard shouldn’t cease. Don’t give in to late winter fatigue. Don’t pile dirty snow onto your lawn. Instead, put the snow onto an area where it can melt and drain properly. Be sure to remove any ice that has frozen over your lawn, especially the areas where your concrete, trees, and mulch meet one another in your yard.

13.)Groom your grass once the topsoil dries: For the integrity of your spring landscape, avoid raking any topsoil that is still wet or muddy. Toward the end of winter after the last projected snowfall, take a look at your landscape and make sure it’s dry before you sweep any blades. A blower will do the work you want it to do while avoiding any damage during a potentially sensitive circumstance.

14.)Aerate your spring landscape: Believe it or not, plants seek air through topsoil. If your topsoil has become compact, consider using a tool known as a soil aerator. Soil aerators bore into soil, breaking up the packed and dense parts of your landscape while reintegrating air. Perform this once the spring provides its first dry soil, as your landscape in this state will be easier to incorporate air or nutrients if required.

The bottom line

When it comes to how to prepare your yard for spring, it can require, not only a lot of time and resources on your end, but care and attention to detail. Be sure to know the climate you now live in, but also the pests that live there as well. Landscaping your outdoor home may seem like an intimidating project to take on, but it is one of the joys of springtime, which many people look forward to. Use the 14 tips above to help you plan out your yard, and your expectations before you start. You may be surprised how much you enjoy landscaping once you have planned it in advance. 

Frequently asked questions


When should I start preparing my lawn for spring?


As early as late winter is when to start landscaping. Aerating your soil, applying lawn fertilizer, as well as avoiding matted areas should be done during the late winter and early spring so that your lawn is prepped for your spring landscape.


What is the best lawn fertilizer for early spring?


Depending on your climate and the region where you live, the best lawn fertilizer will vary. Browse through our comprehensive list of effective fertilizers for spring landscapes to learn more.


Is it ok to overseed in the spring?


In areas where grass is thinning, then yes, overseeding is completely fine. If you’re trying to remedy a barren spot, address any grass thinning that may ensue, overseeding won’t harm your lawn. For landscapes that possess over 50% of healthy turf, overseeding can be better than reseeding your lawn.

Amanda Push contributed to this post

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