As the cold dark days of winter begin to fade away, we can finally turn our attention to the exterior of our home. You may (or may not) be eager to get a head start on your garden chores to prep your yard. If it seems overwhelming, fear not! We have the best tips to get your garden in tip-top shape for the spring season.
Pruning Small Trees and Shrubs
To prep for new growth and clean up from winter, it is important to prune small trees and shrubs in your yard. In fact, a few minutes spent pruning is one of the best things you can do for the plants in your yard. In return, you’ll get thicker foliage, more flowers, and healthier plants. If you are a bit apprehensive about this garden chore, here are some tips:
- Pruning Flowery Shrubs: Start by pruning young shrubs to make them grow fuller. Use hand pruners to trim long, unbranched stems by cutting just above a healthy bud. This will help to encourage lower side branches to develop.
- Neglected Shrubs: Most neglected shrubs call for a dramatic approach known as hard pruning. To combat tangled shrubbery, use loppers and a hand saw to cut back all stems to within an inch of the ground.
- Pruning a Tree: You’ll want to avoid pruning a young or newly planted tree – it needs leaves to produce the food required for good root growth. Removed dead or broken branches. Be sure to leave the plant’s leader in place – the top-most growing point of the tree. This will help the tree to develop its natural form.
- Remove Suckers: Fast growing stems, known as suckers that grow up from the base or root of a tree.
- Pruning Conifers: Evergreens such as arborvitaes, hemlocks, or junipers should be pruned the same way as a shrub.
Focus on Trimming Hedges
Hedge trimming should almost always be done in the spring. Hedges may be pruned twice a year, in spring and late summer. We suggest using the top down method when it comes to trimming your hedges. Here are some tips for trimming your hedges:
Tools: The tools that you use to trim your hedges are very important. Cheap tools, or a dull blade, can do more damage than good to your trees.
To get the best result, use hand pruners for the majority of fine work, hedge shears with serrated blades for heavier branches and lopping shears for the thickest branches. Handsaws work best for any branch that is over 1 inch in diameter. Tri-cut or razor tooth saws work best for larger branches that are 4 inches in diameter.
Going to work: To trim your hedges into a beautiful shape, you might want to use strings or a measure laser as a guideline. First, get rid of the straggly branches around the hedge, then, fine prune everything else using a hand pruner. Remember, hedges should be trimmed wider at the base to provide maximum light and sun for the exposed leaves.
Take Time for Gutter Cleaning
As you are working on the exterior of your home and in your garden, you’ll want to turn your attention to your gutters.
Your gutters are very important to the health of your home, helping to channel water away safely from your foundation. If left neglected, gutters will fill with debris and dirt, causing water to cascade over the sides of your gutter and onto your roof. This can cause soffit damage, rotting fascia issues; interior and exterior mold damage, and costly roofing damages. Furthermore, water will begin to pool around the base of your home, causing water related issues like foundation cracks, structural issues, basement flooding, and more. These issues are not only serious, but can cost you tens of thousands of dollars in damages!
When your eavestroughs are clear and debris free, water is safely diverted away from the foundation of your home. To prevent home-related issues that are a result of clogged eaves, it is very important to have your eaves cleaned.
If you are looking for a permanent solution to eliminate gutter cleaning, LeafFilter gutter covers are the answer. LeafFilter’s micromesh technology prevents debris and dirt from entering and clogging your eaves. LeafFilter is professionally installed on your existing eavestroughs and your eavestroughs are properly pitched and fully cleaned to ensure for maximum water handling efficiency. And, with a lifetime, transferable warranty, you can enjoy the peace of mind that you will never have to climb your ladder again for gutter cleaning.