Get Your Yard Ready For Spring: Seasonal Clean up in ten easy steps


No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.

Hal Borland

Welcome to March! The signs are all there. Spring is just over the horizon. The crocuses are up and you haven’t heard a winter storm threat in weeks! Now is a great time to get your yard ready for spring! Even if there are a couple of cold snaps or a little snow, you’ll be ahead of the game.

Big Bend Landscaping strongly recommends getting out a head of problems with an annual seasonal clean up and prep well in advance if you want to make changes to your house and yard.

Get your yard ready for spring with a quick survey

Always begin seasonal clean up and prep with a walk through. If you’re like many of us and have trouble keeping track of things, grab your phone or a notepad.

A survey of your yard and outdoor living space will probably reveal dropped branches and small debris blown in over the winter. Be sure to check your trees and perennials for damage from winter storms. Note the condition of your fence. Does it need repairs?

Next, grab your rake, shovel, pruning shears, a broom, and a garden cart or trash can.

Big Bend Landscaping -Get Your Yard Ready-yard
Big Bend Landscaping -Get Your Yard Ready-yard
Big Bend Landscaping -Get Your Yard Ready-yard 3

1) Clear away debris

As you get your yard ready for spring, pick up dead-fall. If you find any large branches, try to spot which trees they came from so you can follow up on it later. Pick up any leftover trash from last season. And sweep off your patio, steps, walkways, or deck.

If you have an outdoor kitchen and/or fire pit and you covered them, pull the covers off, shake them out, and put them in the sun to dry. You might want to spray those covers off later with something that kills mildew.

2) Examine Pavers For Damage

Examine the surface of your patio or concrete pad. Are there any cracks? Has anything shifted? If it’s an older patio and you’re seeing signs of wear and tear, it might be time for an upgrade. Big Bend Landscaping can help with that.

If your pavers are newer and we installed them, you shouldn’t have any issues at all. But if any of the pavers have shifted or cracked, contact us so we can make it right. We only work with quality pavers from companies like Belgard, Pavestone, and Romanstone that offer lifetime guarantees. So in the unlikely event the pavers develop a problem after installation, they will make it right at no cost to the customer.

3) Uncover Outdoor Furniture Or Bring It Out Of Storage

If you have outdoor furniture that you’ve either covered or stored, a sunny March day is a great time to uncover them or take them out of storage. Examine them for any cracks, breaks, worn spots, rust, loose parts, or mildew. If it’s been a few years since you purchase them, it might be time to order some new furniture. You don’t want family members or guests to take a tumble if something gives way!


As you get your yard ready for spring, this is a great time to talk to us about installing a seating wall near your patio and/or near your fire pit if you have one. A seating wall is a seat-level wall built much the same as a retaining wall. In fact, retaining walls often do double duty as a seating wall. Seating walls are a great addition to any outdoor living space. It can provide extra seating at gatherings and a flat surface to place outdoor ornaments or plants on when not in use.

Big Bend Landscaping-Get your Yard Ready furniture

4) Seasonal Clean Up: Flowerbeds and Prune Trees

Key to seasonal clean up and prepping for the upcoming spring and summer is clearing away last year’s old growth. Grab your gloves, a trowel, trash bag, and your pruning shears. Many of your plants and trees are probably dormant or just coming out of dormancy. Now is the time to clear out beds, pull any dead annuals, take note of the condition of perennials like roses and prune them carefully (directions are here). You will probably want to wait until April to fertilize plants because you don’t want to encourage them to come out of dormancy too early.

Check your trees for diseased or misshapen branches that are going to be in your way later. If you don’t know how, contact your local extension office or gardening center for directions as to how to prune various trees. If you are in doubt or it’s a branch in a dicey place (like over your roof!!), call a tree surgeon or landscaping service and let the pros do it.

5) Order Mulch

As you’re cleaning out beds and raking, don’t forget to order fresh mulch. And by fresh mulch, we mean a supplier who will sell you newly ground mulch so it will last all season. Mulch insulates roots, keeps soil evenly moist between waterings, and provides nutrients as it breaks down.

6) Test Your Soil

Old gardeners will tell you that all plant care starts with the soil. It is your invisible ally, providing minerals, organic materials, and water to all the plants, trees, and grass. So as you’re taking care of seasonal clean up and prep, don’t neglect your soil. Pick up a soil test at your local nursery or extension office and test it before fertilizing it. You will avoid burning plants or applying chemicals your lawn doesn’t need. Or—worse—missing a vital nutrient.

Big Bend Landscaping-Get your Yard Ready furniture

7) Aerate and dethatch your lawn

As you get your yard ready for spring, be prepared to aerate and dethatch your yard. Dethatching is the process of raking up the layer of dead grass, leaves, and other organic matter between grass blades and the surface of the soil. This gives soil and grass roots access to water, oxygen, sunlight, and nutrients. Aerating is the act of loosening the soil around the roots of grass and plants to avoid soil compaction. This allows air, water, and nutrients to get to the roots.

Here is a great guide for when and how to aerate. And here is another that explains when and how to dethatch.

8) Apply fertilizer to your lawn

There is some debate about when to fertilize one’s lawn. So we’ll just leave it at this—if you didn’t fertilize last fall, you can safely fertilize your lawn between the months of February and early April, just as your lawn is greening up.

9) Mow early and mow often

When you’re doing seasonal clean up and prep, you’ll want to take the current weather into consideration when you make the decision to mow. In Missouri, our growing season is pretty fluid. Some years, you may need to mow for the first time in late March. In others, not until sometime in April. The rule of thumb is to mow early and mow often—but not too early and don’t take too much off the top!
According to Jennifer Schutter, Field Specialist in Horticulture for the University of Missouri Extension a good guideline is:

”You want to start mowing regularly in the spring when grass gets to be three to three and a half inches tall and you want to mow it at about three inches because this allows for a denser thicker yard and it does not allow for much sunlight to penetrate through and reach those prostrate weeds like dandelions. So, mowing higher usually means you’ll have less weeds.”

Big Bend Landscaping-Get your Yard Ready furniture

10) Dream a little

Spring is an exciting time in so many ways—not just because of the emerging flowers and wildlife, but because it’s a great time to make new plans for your outdoor living space.

As you get your yard ready for spring, think about the changes you’d like to make this year and consider giving Big Bend Landscaping a call. We enjoy working with homeowners to create the outdoor living space of their dreams and always happy to hear from new clients.

Big Bend Landscaping has a Level 1 Certification from the National Concrete and Masonry Association. We’ve taken the time to ensure that we are using the most up-to-date methods and materials available on the market. Our crews are always on time or early and you can expect them to be professional at all times. And we pride ourselves on never leaving messes behind on our job sites. We guarantee all our work; this includes parts and labor. So, if you ever have a problem with any work we’ve done for you, contact us and we’ll make it right.

Do you live in the St. Louis area and want to know more about how we can help you create the outdoor living area of your dreams? We serve Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Glendale, Ballwin, Chesterfield, Des Peres, and Fenton. Check out our gallery for inspiration! And read about the work we’ve done for other happy customers. Then give us a call or contact us for an online estimate!