Yard Work You Can Do During Quarantine
Get your edging, pruning, weeding and mulching done now before the growing season makes it harder to maintain.
After a long winter of not doing much in my yard (I’m so unmotivated in cold weather!), I’m bursting at the seams to get out in the yard to groom and trim and make her look her best when the weather warms up! And that’s especially true since I’m spending all day every day at home during the coronavirus lockdown!
Edge Along Driveway
This is the hardest area in our yard to get a clean edge for some reason. If I don’t edge often enough the grass roots itself in the gravel and then it’s not just edging that needs to be done. I also have to pull up the grass runners in the gravel. So I always edge here first for the peace of mind.
My sweet husband is the main mower of the grass in our house. And he does it pretty much once a week once the grass really starts growing. Thankfully we’re still a few weeks away from that routine starting up again!
I will follow behind him and edge our driveway and front sidewalk every other time he mows. And right up there with my love for fresh pine straw is my love of a freshly edged sidewalk with crisp lines.😍
*In full disclosure, RYOBI sent me this edger to use during my yard work this season. However, all opinions and advice are my own.*
Having the right tools makes any job easier. That’s also true with lawn and garden tools! I’ve never used a battery-powered edger* before. So this was a real treat! It’s 40 volts, so it’s powerful. But it also has various attachments* to complete all of your clean-up tasks around the yard.
Ahhh! So fresh and so clean, clean!
Trim and Prune
I like to take this time in spring to evaluate any ‘sore spots’ that didn’t do well last summer or that irritated me. One of those areas is our retaining wall in the front yard. Our original intent was for the grass to grow on top of it and it would be easy to just mow it to keep it maintained.
In reality it just looked mangy and unkempt. So I was anxious to give it a buzz cut with the edger too.
Just like getting a fresh haircut before the first day of school, edging your yard at the beginning of the season is a great way to start summer off!
Now that it is cut back, it will be easy to give it a quick trim every few weeks to keep it tamed.
Speaking of keeping things tamed…
Spring is the perfect time to prune back bushes that have gotten out of hand! We prune these Cleyera japonicas at least once a year, sometimes twice. When a branch is pruned, it tells the plant to produce new growth below the point of pruning. So since these bushes are looking a little spotty, I’m hoping this will be the season they get a little fuller!
For several years, I didn’t prune them back enough. So we’ve got some time to make up for!
Here’s what they looked like when they were first planted in 2012.😍
Plants are like my babies. And just like I enjoy looking back at baby pictures of my human children, I enjoy looking at baby pictures of my plant babies too!😅 My, they have come a long way!
A good tip I realized while pruning this week is to do your trimming and pruning before adding mulch. It makes it easier to rake up the trimmed branches!
Creating a ring of mulch or pine straw around a tree in your yard is an easy way to add a little wow factor! Simply edge a circle 16-18 inches from the base of the tree, all the way around.
You can put wet newspaper down to kill the old grass or pull it up manually before adding your choice of mulch.
I’m sure there are other places in your front or back yard that could use a little defining too. Now’s a great time to make it happen before the weather gets too hot and the grass really starts growing!
Mulch. How can I express my love and appreciation for mulch? It’s my favorite ‘trick’ in the yard. It immediately makes a flower bed, tree ring, or former ‘dead space’ look polished, well-kept, and complete! No waiting time!
My favorite is pine straw, which is very common in the South. But I love any kind really. Most of it is very inexpensive, especially considering how much bang you get out it! This cypress blend* is on sale but a good value even when it’s not.
It also has benefits beyond pretty looks. It helps retain moisture in the soil around your plants. So you don’t have to worry about your plants drying out during the high heat of summer!
After I lay fresh pine straw in our various beds, I like to sprinkle some Preen* to prevent weeds from popping up. (Here’s a commissionable link to get it from amazon too!*)
It’s not 100% effective (nothing is), but I’ve definitely noticed significantly less new weeds since I’ve been using it once a year for the past few years. I can use one container for my whole yard. So for $15, it’s a pretty good value for less weed-pulling which is my nemesis in the yard!
I hope this gives you a little motivation and some ideas of ways to improve your yard without spending a lot of money or going to the store! I know spending time outside working in the yard boosts my mood and gives me that instant gratification we all love in home improvement projects!
Thanks for Checking In! ~Chelsea
*This post contains affiliate links. I will earn a small commission from your purchase without increasing the price for you!*