When Emma Croft from Get Gardening submitted a request to post an article with spring gardening tips on our blog, we couldn’t say no! We are happy to share this post full of sunny cheer and heralds of spring:

How to Prep Your Lawn and Garden for the Spring Season

While most greenery lies dormant in winter, springtime is when everything needs a bit of sprucing up. As winter creeps out and spring approaches, it seems like all the growth begins at once. But there are a few ways you can start getting ready, even before new buds start peeking through.

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Think About Enlisting an Expert to Green Things Up

If you’re a novice gardener, it can be a bit of a challenge to beautify your yard without professional help. Fortunately, you can call in experts at a landscape service to tend to your green spaces. From planting to planning and weeding, a professional will care for bushes, plants, flowers, and trees—and pass on expert tips.

Start by Raking to Remove Debris (And Eyesores)

Dead leaves and other detritus tend to build up on the lawn through the colder months. And while leaf piles can provide protection (and even nutrients) for your lawn in fall and winter, springtime is a different story.

The leaves that offered insulation against frost in December will create a humid and moldy environment as the weather warms. Too large a pile can cause problems throughout the winter—such as snow mold—too. Clearing leaves off your lawn lets it breathe and prepare for the sunshine of spring.

Address Weeds Early in the Season

While you eagerly await your garden’s harvest this year, you’ll also need to pay close attention to weed growth. Later in the year, pulling weeds by hand can be a necessary part of tending the rows. In fact, for some species of weeds, hand removal can be more effective than spray treatments.

But you can usually get ahead of weed growth by using a pre-emergent herbicide. Such formulas keep weed seeds from germinating, so they never wind their way through your vegetable patch. HGTV recommends timing your pre-emergent application to two or three weeks before the regular weed season. If you miss it, though, you can use a post-emergent herbicide instead.

Time Your Trimming Right

Trimming trees, shrubs, and other plants is beneficial in advance of spring growth. Some trees, especially sappier varieties, are messy to prune in winter. But springtime is ideal for trimming apple, cherry, peach, plum, and other trees, notes The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Roses, trumpet vines, wisteria, and Virginia creeper can also be trimmed in early spring.

Of course, trimming applies to your lawn, too. But timing your first mow of the season depends more on grass growth—and overall height—than a set date on the calendar. About two inches of green is enough to begin mowing this season.

Add New Plants to Get Ahead of Summer Planting

While many aspects of your garden will need to wait until summer for optimal temperatures and soil composition, others are friendly to early spring planting. From perennial veggies to favorites you can snack from for a limited time, many crops are ideal early in the season. For example, you can plant asparagus, spinach, lettuce, and peas earlier in the year, says The Spruce. Rhubarb and beets are also easy to grow and delicious garden additions.

Start Watering on a Smart Schedule

It’s sometimes challenging to know when it’s time to water your lawn and garden. After all, seasonal showers can do much of the work for you if you time things right. Waiting until the conditions are drier can help preserve water and encourage your lawn to really take hold. Then, you should aim to water the grass twice per week—preferably early in the day—and for long enough to let the water penetrate the soil. Your garden, in contrast, will likely need water daily—but each plant has unique moisture needs, too. Be alert to both soil and plant conditions to adjust your watering schedule.

Of course, a gardening expert can help you set up a timed watering system. That way, you don’t need to worry about your landscape until it’s time to harvest the produce (or spread a picnic on the back lawn). Either way, with these tips—and possibly the help of a pro—you’ll be enjoying a lush and vibrant landscape in no time.