How To Do A Yard Walkthrough In Spring: A Landscaping Audit
The birds are singing, and the buds are budding—but are you and your yard ready for it? As more daylight and warmer weather start to pull you outside this season, it’s time to learn how to prepare your yard for spring! And don’t worry—even if you don’t have a green thumb, there are plenty of easy (but important) things on the spring landscaping checklist that you can do to make sure your yard is in tip-top shape for enjoying the rest of the year. So arm yourself with, well—this spring yard checklist is pretty much all you need—and follow these simple tips to complete a successful spring yard walkthrough.
How Do I Know If My Yard Survived The Winter?
Checking on your vegetation is probably the first (and most exciting) part of preparing your yard for spring. It’s fun to see the fresh life spreading across the yard with new buds on the trees, a more vibrant look to the shrubbery and lawn, and even a bloom from early spring flowers here and there. But, if you’re not seeing those signs right away, you’ll need to take a closer look at possible damage that occurred this winter.
Let’s take a deeper dive into how to know if your yard survived the winter, and (spoiler!) it goes far beyond the life or death of plants.
But don’t worry—if you’re already feeling overwhelmed, or can see that the damage winter did is beyond your capacity to repair, never fear hiring a trusted landscape company to come and give your landscaping the professional attention it deserves. (We happen to know just the place!)
Performing A Yard Walkthrough
Take a good look at our spring yard checklist—a great landscaping audit for any experience level! While not everything here will apply to every yard, you’re sure to find the simple, but important, to-do’s that you may not have thought were such a key part of how to prepare your yard for spring.
Checking for damage in vegetation:
- Are there obvious signs of too much water that can be a threat to plant life? Check for areas of pooling or mold where snow was slow to melt over the winter. If you find you have a dip in your landscaping, that may be a smart place to either build up the ground or replace living elements with some functional hardscaping. Think a leveled firepit that will ultimately be less affected by the problem while helping to solve it.
- Does there appear to be frost damage? Look for frost damage on plants and trees: limp limbs or darkened or shriveled bark throughout trees and larger shrubs. If the damage is extensive, think about removing the vegetation and replacing it this spring with a hardier plant more fit for your region and yard conditions.
- Are there broken limbs (possibly from ice or wind storms or too much snow buildup) that need to be properly pruned and cared for? Check for immediate threat of danger to other property or life first, and then assess what can be done to save the tree, if possible. And good news—unless the tree has really been battered, it will most likely be just fine with some proper first aid (clean cuts on dead or broken limbs is crucial!).
- Can you see obvious areas of the lawn that look brown or limp when everything else is starting to perk up? If you’re unsure, a simple tug test can help. If the grass pulls right out, it’s most likely dead. If there is resistance, the lawn is probably still dormant and should perk up with time, sunlight, and proper watering.
- If you’re in an area where backyard wildlife is common, check for signs of damage to any plants or trees that may be the target of nature taking its course—think of flowers and plants being eaten the second they show any greenery, bark being rubbed off by antler itchers, cozy corners becoming dens for smaller animals, etc.
Troubleshooting beyond greenery in landscaping:
- Check to make sure your pipelines are clear and clean. This includes making sure sprinkler systems are working properly, there is plenty of steady flow from outdoor faucets, and that water is clear as well as free of any off-putting odors.
- The wellbeing of your hardscaping can be just as important as the lawn, trees, and flowers in your landscaping. Remember that little crack in the driveway or back patio you noticed last fall? It’s time to check if it survived the stress it probably endured from ice expansion and thawing during the winter and into spring.
- If you have a backyard pool, now is the time to make sure all things are in proper order. Look for any visible signs of disrepair (cracks, bulging, etc.), clean the pool surface or water if it was left over winter, ensure safety devices are available and intact, as well as do a quick inventory of your water toys and poolside accessories (chairs, floaties, etc.).
- Fire features are another key part of hardscaping you’ll want to do a once-over on this spring, even if you enjoyed using it over the winter. Give it a good cleaning and make sure to address any obvious hazards that need to be dealt with, especially if it is fired by gas.
- If your front or backyard landscape contains any structures, from pergolas and gazebos to fences and rock walls, spring is a good time to evaluate their integrity as well. Make sure to look for signs of rotting wood, rust, or other damage that needs to be taken care of.
- Make sure your equipment is clean and in good working order so you’re ready to fertilize, mow, and prune with the best of them! This includes lawnmowers, hoses, gardening tools, rakes, gloves, wheelbarrows, etc.
Quick facelifts for your spring landscaping:
- A careful edging can be like giving your yard a much-needed haircut. A yard without a scraggly overhang is instantly more inviting and neighborhood-friendly.
- Removing old or soggy mulch and replacing it with new, hardy chips is another instant facelift for your landscaping that will brighten flower beds and give you cleaner, more shapely lines.
- If you’re noticing bald patches in your rock fill or gravel path, make sure to spread things out evenly or refill with more rock this spring. A nice rock-filled area can be a game changer, even if those areas aren’t large or a main focus in your landscaping. Each area that is well-taken care of—no matter how small—will make a difference here.
- Unfortunately, new spring life in the yard also includes growing weeds. Making sure you consistently remove weeds or apply weed killer to weed-dense areas of your landscaping to keep it looking put together and properly cared for.
- Fertilizing is another great way to prepare your yard for spring, especially if you happened to notice any less-than-stellar (brown, patchy) looking areas in your yard. Give them a little extra love with the right kind of fertilizer for your grass and region. Add this little step into your spring lawn prep, and your grass will sprout up healthy and full before you know it.
Beyond just cutting off obviously broken or dead branches, pruning in early spring can bring forth fuller plants and more fruitful trees. Just make sure you know what you’re doing, or hire a professional to care for your trees and plants in the best way possible.
- Spraying down hardscaping, patios, decks, and outdoor furniture is another important part of your spring yard checklist. Just because these things aren’t growing, doesn’t mean they should be ignored this season.
- The ultimate facelift item on your landscaping checklist this spring is to plant new things! Whether you’re refreshing a bed that just doesn’t excite you anymore or you’re making changes based on what plants work best in your yard (based on region, sun exposure, type of care, etc.) through trial and error, fresh vegetation is going to get everyone excited about their landscaping.
After completing a landscaping audit, you’re sure to know exactly what to do to make sure your yard is in tip-top shape for the year to come. And if you’re still on the fence about where to go from here . . .
Big Rock Landscaping: Your Utah Landscaping Services Experts
Big Rock Landscaping has the best landscaping services on the Wasatch Front. From new spring planting to year-round landscaping maintenance, we’ve got your landscape’s back. And front. And side yards, too. Our transparent partnership process means you’ll have a team who hears what you have envisioned, works to make it come to life within your budget, and can take care of all of it for you if that brown thumb really has you down. A dreamy residential landscape is well within reach—just contact Big Rock Landscaping to get started!