In Canada, where most of us experience four distinct seasons, it can be a challenge to keep up with all the yard work. Each change in weather brings its own set of chores that need to be done to keep your yard and house looking great.
Many homeowners find themselves sticking to the basics, even though they wish they could do more. Luckily, a little bit of knowledge can go a long way. If you know exactly what needs to be done and when staying on top of your yardwork won’t seem so daunting.
Read on for a handy season-by-season yardwork list to get you started.
Time to pack the parkas and boots away -- and get ready to use your yard for more than snowmen and forts again! Winter can be hard on our yards, so as soon as the snow has melted for good, it’s time to get ready for spring.
Rake up dead leaves and grass that were hidden underneath the snow and dispose of them with yard waste bags.
Remove any protective coverings you put on plants and shrubs for the winter.
Pressure wash the exterior of your house.
Prune dead or damaged branches from your trees.
Shape large hedges with a hedge trimmer.
Prune rose bushes, shrubs, and any perennial plants in your flower beds.
Remove damaged turf and, once the risk of frost has passed, reseed any bare areas.
Apply a small amount of slow-release fertilizer once the weather is consistently warm.
Tackle problem areas, such as crabgrass and dandelions, with treatment or a weeder.
Start mowing when the grass reaches about 5cm.
Remove dead leaves and foliage.
Pull up last year’s annuals (if you didn’t do it in the fall).
Loosen the soil with a tiller or spade.
Add compost or other nutrients.
Add a layer of fresh mulch.
Check all outdoor spigots for any signs of freeze damage or leaks.
Check your garden hose for cracks or holes.
Turn on the water and re-install your sprinkler backflow.
Turn on the controller & run each program.
Check the system for leaks and damaged heads.
Flush and clean head screens and verify appropriate coverage.
Set seasonal programs.
Inspect and clean all the tools you’ll need to use.
Arrange for repairs or annual maintenance if necessary.
Turn on powered tools to make sure they’re operational.
Once you’ve put in the time and effort to get your yard ready in the spring, summer is all about maintenance.
Mow regularly – cutting your grass to a height of 6 to 8 cm helps it develop a deep root system and retains moisture in the soil.
Leave grass clippings on your lawn – this is known as “grasscycling” and it makes your lawn healthier.
Water your lawn no more than once a week when there’s rainfall, preferably in the morning.
Pull or treat weeds as needed.
Garden and flower beds
Water when the soil is dry.
Add plant food.
Watch for weeds and pull them as soon as possible.
Keep an eye out for signs of pests or disease.
This is the time to get your yard ready for the long winter months ahead. Putting in the effort to do a proper cleanup now will pay off in the spring.
Rake leaves and debris to avoid damage to your grass over the winter.
Cut grass to a length of about 5 cm to avoid winter lawn diseases like snow mould.
Aerate the lawn to allow more air to flow into the soil.
Seed any dead or bare spots.
Plants and trees
Remove dead plants and weeds from flower beds.
Apply mulch to protect against the cold.
Cover any plants that could be damaged by freezing temperatures.
Water trees and shrubs after the leaves have fallen.
Make sure your spigots are turned off.
Store away the garden hose.
Turn off the water to the system.
Remove and store your backflow device.
Apply compressed air through the system to blow out water from pipes, valves, and heads.
Turn off and unplug the controller.
Just because the lawn and garden are covered in snow doesn’t mean you can take a few months off. This is the season when your attention turns to snow and ice removal.
Make sure you have the proper equipment for the size of your property – if you have a small walkway a shovel may do the job, but for larger areas, you may want to invest in a snowblower.
Watch for icy conditions and use salt, sand, or snowmelt to make it safe for anyone walking on your sidewalk or driveway.
Be aware of the bylaws in your area when it comes to snow removal – if you wait too long to shovel after a snowfall, you could be fined.
Once you take the guesswork out of yard maintenance, you’ll find it easier and more enjoyable. But no matter what, it’s a time-consuming job. If you’re struggling to fit yardwork into your busy schedule, or just want more time to spend with your kids, you can always get help. The professionals at The Grounds Guys offer grounds care and landscaping services that can take care of some—or all—of the work for you.