Winter in Michigan is tricky; you never quite know when spring is around the corner.  We have seen snow in mid April.  Although uncommon it does happen.  We have been known to thaw and freeze again within the same week in March.  The weather is insane.  This is why Michigan landscapers prepare for spring by starting with cleaning up the landscape design and preparing gardens instead of jumping right in to planting.  Start your spring landscaping the way professionals do: start by cleaning up the existing landscape space.

The first step I take when preparing for spring is to cut back dead plants and shrubs while weeding out annuals from the previous season.  Also clean up weeds that have started to sprout.   Ornamental grasses can be cut down to around eight inches from the ground and trees and bushes should be trimmed back into their original shape.

This is a great time to turn the mulch.  Turning the mulch will help homeowners see where it is thinning and needs some freshening while also mixing the nutrients through.  Rotating the mulch allows some of the debris that has decomposed on the top layer to benefit the plants root system as well.  Spring time is great for adding mulch as well.  This gives the space a clean fresh feel when adding additional plants in late spring early summer.

Serious landscape design usually plans for an early burst of color amongst the green and brown tones left from the decay of fall leaves and plants. Adding in perennials does this for any homes landscape design.  Crocus, Iris, Daffodil and Tulip plants are terrific ways to accomplish this. When you start to see these pleasantries bloom you are also signaled that it is time to fertilize shrubs as well as bulbs.

Spring is also a great time for homeowners to test out their irrigation systems and once the last freeze has for sure occurred it is time to initiate turning the water back on to outdoor garden hooks ups and water features within the yard.

You have about a month before your garden senses start to tingle and you want to dive in to some outdoor work. Don’t get ahead of yourself.  Planting to early will prove to be a waste of money.  Remember to start with the theory of getting the canvas fresh during the spring and this will save you from early planting mistakes.