There's so much more to a great yard than just mowing the lawn.

Time for spring cleanup!

Before- Korean feather reed grass in late March

Before- Korean feather reed grass in late March

When is the right time to tackle spring cleanup in your yard? Now that the weather has warmed up, it’s time to get busy, folks. With so many potential projects, where should you start?

My advice is to start with taking care of your existing plants. Maintain what you’ve already got first. The reason I say this is that you want to take advantage of the ideal time to cut them back. If you do other things first and cut them back later, they will have already started growing most likely. Cutting them back too late can create a mess later on.

My first priority this week is to cut back the dead growth on perennial flowers and ornamental grasses. By doing this before this year’s growth emerges, you can remove almost all of last year’s brown growth. This makes your plants appear healthier and tidier because all the leaves look fresh and new.

After- cut back as close to the ground as possible

After- cut back as close to the ground as possible

I like to cut last year’s growth right above ground level. This is the best method if you don’t see any green growth at the base of the plant. There’s no reason to leave last year’s growth since it will never green up again.

If you notice new green leaves already, cut last year’s growth right above the tips of the new leaves. The new growth will cover up last year’s stalks in a week or two.

Notice new growth (little green leaves) is just starting to grow.

Notice new growth (little green leaves) is just starting to grow.

Some plants that you’ll want to tackle early are blue avena grass, Karl Foerster feather reed grass, blue fescue, Korean feather reed grass and catmint. These plants usually green up very early, so they should be at the top of your list to address.

Try to get this done this week, since the warm weather will encourage plants to come out of dormancy. Stay tuned for next steps!

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