Spring Cleaning your Landscape


Spring Cleaning

Spring has sprung and many of us are beginning to think about enjoying our yards once again, which means spring cleaning! Unfortunately, your lawn and garden can suffer much damage due to winter weather.

Preparing your garden for spring and summer involves assessing that damage and coming up with a plan to take back your yard for enjoyment. If you want to enjoy your landscape as the temperatures climb, heed the following post-winter garden preparation tips.

Assessing the Damage

Start by assessing the damage. Even if winter was mild, your landscape might still have suffered some damage from snow removal, snow load on plants and local wildlife roaming though the area.

Check for debris in your garden beds and surrounding landscapes.  When we are providing spring cleaning services to clients, we remove fallen leaves, branches and even trash that blew about on windy winter day. Remove the old mulch from your garden beds and apply new fresh mulch. All of the sand and salt build up on your driveway and lawn should be removed to make room for new growth. If you had fall clean up as part of your lawn care routine and your leaves were thoroughly removed, you have decreased your chances of a fungal disease known as snow mold. If you do find that you have snow mold it may be necessary to reseed your lawn.

Treating your Lawn

Spring is the time to treat your lawn for pests and crabgrass. Pests may hibernate in the soil over the winter, and such unwelcome visitors can make it difficult for gardens to thrive come spring and summer. Spring is also the best time to fertilize your lawn, but timing is important. The Soil temperature should reach about 55 degrees. You will know when the soil is right because lilacs begin to bloom. UrbanYardology is proud to use Coast of Maine organic products for our fertilizers and composts.

Trees and Shrubs

Finally, your trees and shrubs can benefit from a bit of spring-cleaning too. Dead limbs and winter-kill on branches should be pruned off, but be careful, shrubs that bloom in the spring have to have their buds already in place on last year’s growth so that they are ready, if you prune those branches off you will lose the flowers. Shrubs that bloom later in the year grow on new wood so it is OK to trim those now.

spring clean up image

This can be overwhelming for some, that is why we provide spring clean-up and ongoing lawn care services in Portland Maine and surrounding areas. Once you landscape is ready to go for spring, beautify it with a new garden design altogether or a simple low maintenance landscape.

The “Bulb Effect” in the Maine landscape

For those of you who last fall planted spring bulbs, it won’t be long before you are rewarded for your efforts. Those who haven’t, I’m hoping by this time next year you to are anxiously awaiting your colorful bounty. For all you newbies out there just remember when purchasing spring-flowering bulbs avoid the one’s that are soft and show signs of mold. Not to bash the big box stores, but I’d avoid them and visit your locally-owned garden center which thier are plenty of in the Portland Maine area. Once successfully purchased it’s important to have a good understanding of the property and the growing area so to avoid planting in area’s that tend to have standing water. Maine snow melt, along with april rains can leave bulbs destined for rot, yielding nothing but disappointment.

With over 200 individual species and 25,000 named hybrids, the daffodil alone is a plant Metropolis. The daffodil encompasses multiple color combinations which allows gardeners to create a color pallet in a way that reflects ones personality. By clumping groups together you create a visual statement such as the photo above. For a more subtle english garden approach, spread bulbs out encompassing more bulb species throughout an area like the photo below. This allows the eye to wonder making the space look larger.

In closing, it’s my hope that homeowners now are more encouraged then ever to plant these wonders of the spring. If done right the reward is well worth the little effort it takes for success. Below I will link garden centers in the Portland area that will provide you the best results, as well as a depth chart for proper planting techniques.

Skillins Greenhouse

Broadway Gardens

Estabrooks Garden Center

Chart Photo courtesy of Netherlands Bulb Company.

Landscaping + advertising = (Caution)

As a small business owner, I know in order to succeed you need to advertise. Potential clients and leads don’t often just fall in your lap, unless you have a top notch website, knowledge of SEO, and know how to put it to work for you. Otherwise, you need to pound the pavement as they say.

The off-season most know is the best time to get your name out there and a lot of people turn to Craigslist to do so. Through experience I can say that it is not a bad route to take because it’s free, but there are some risks that everybody should be aware of.
I’m going to use my own experiences to hopefully shed light on how to successfully post a Craigslist ad without dealing with those shady people out there that just want to steal from you.
Now, when I say steal from you I mean that literally, they want to steal your time and they want to steal by actually taking money out of your pocket. Do I have your attention yet?


Last Summer, I got a text message asking if I work on fences. I took time out of my day to reply, yes I can rebuild or replace a fence. Soon, I get a reply back from this potential customer who then gave me the address of the potential job location. The next phase of the conversation is where the red flags started flapping in the wind . He goes on to tell me that he just purchased this property and will not be able to be there due to illness and was wondering if he could wire the money to my business account .
Hmmmmmmm…… keep in mind I already knew this person was wasting my time and had a criminal agenda. How do I know…… because I already looked up the address he gave me. (Thanks to Google) The address existed and yes, the house was on the market. So……I contacted the realtor, again wasting my time to find out that there was no pending sale. So you see there are people out there who have nothing better to do then prey on business owners or anybody else for that matter who do not take the time to investigate.

Now do I know exactly how this would have played out and where or how I would have lost money…. kinda, but the bottom line is I didn’t allow it to get to that point. Now, this wasn’t the only scenario, but it’s a prime example of what can happen if you post to Craigslist and leave a contact number for people to reach you. If you  have a website put that on your Craigslist ad, link them to your website, many websites, such as  mine has an info page for customers to fill out what they’re looking to accomplish on their property. Now if you don’t have a website just be vigilant and Be prepared for scams!

Check this link out scams

Things I look out for:

  1. Broken English
  2. Misspelled words
  3. Aggressive
  4. Wont meet in person
  5. Doesn’t reply to all your questions

The buzzzzz about (Bees)

There is nothing like looking throughout a garden’s landscape to see these little remarkable machines at work. Their attention to detail and work ethic are unmatched, but sadly their under attack.

According to the USDA, pesticides play a key roll in their demise, as do the Varroa mite, bad weather and starvation. The good news is statistics are showing progress in the right direction. Key factors to this positive news is education. By collaborating with farmers and educated them when to use pesticides has helped bee colonies become less stressed which studies show gives the bees a Fighting Chance.

The Varroa mite, which is a blood sucking parasite that can wipe out a colony in weeks has been a thorn in beekeepers side for decades now. Positive steps have been made in figuring out ways to defeat this little monster, and it starts at the hives entrance. Check link below to see how this process is being accomplished.

http://beecare.bayer.com/media-center/videos/detail/a-new-solution-for-healthy-honey-bee-hives
Bees play a huge role in the economic development of not only our country but the worlds. Farmers across the globe rely on these little workhorses to pollinate crops to ensure a successful bounty at the end of the growing season.

It is my hope that after you read this, you understand the importance that bees play in our ecosystem and that you stop and appreciate them a little more the next time you look through your garden. I end with a resource of trees, plants and shrubs you can incorporate into your landscape to ensure a healthy bee population.

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