Spring is here and you can feel it in the air. The trees are budding, the birds are chirping, and the tulips are pushing up through the ground. Your lawn may even already be vibrant green depending on where you live. You know what that means, it’s time for your spring clean up!

Whether this is your first spring season in your brand new home or you’re a seasoned veteran in the home-owner club, it can be helpful to have a refresher on what really makes the most impact when it comes to routine yard maintenance. Let’s take a quick look at the cornerstones of spring home landscaping.

Remove the Brush

The first cleanup of the year is always going to take a little more effort than the rest. Even if you were quite diligent with your fall cleanup there wills till be plenty of debris to take care of at the end of the winter season. What you’ll likely experience is that your yard has accumulated some remaining leaves, either from your trees or blown over from a neighbor’s yard. You’ll probably see some branches and smaller sticks that were shed during high winds in the winter storms. What you’ll almost certainly see is quite a bit of debris from plants that either died or went dormant for the winter.

In all three of these cases, it’s going to be a matter of cleaning up and disposing of the debris. Not only will this make your yard look more visually appealing, but it will expose what’s underneath the debris to open air, full sun, and less growth restrictions so your plants can really start to take off for the new season. In order to dispose of the debris you remove, either send it with your city or town’s waste disposal, or you can mulch it and compost it for later use in your garden.

Ongoing Maintenance

Over a few weeks, as if it were magic, you’ll eventually hit a threshold after which your yard will come to life and start growing rapidly. This is when the real work starts!

You’re going to want to mow your lawn on an ongoing basis. For most people, you’ll expect to mow every 1-2 weeks. The frequency depends on a number of factors, including the health of your grass, the quality of your soil, your region’s rainfall, and so many more variables I’m sure you can imagine. In a nutshell, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not cutting too much off of the grass each time you mow. You want to set the mower’s height to remove no more than a third or so of the blades of grass, else you’ll cause inefficient growth. You’ll also want to make sure you’re mowing on a dry day, because when the soil is wet there is more potential for damage to be caused to the root system.

With mowing out of the way, you’ll also want to clean up the edges with a trimmer. This really makes your yard stand out, particularly any striking features you’ve chosen to include in your landscaping. It also gives you the opportunity to bring any areas that you missed with the mower into line. I’d highly recommend that you wear safety glasses when using an edger, as it’s pretty common for sticks and rocks to go flying in the air and they can certainly hurt you if you’re not properly protecting yourself.

Consider Hiring a Professional Landscaper

Does all of this sounds like it’s a little too much? I have to say, I can see where you’re coming from. Aside from the fact that you have to buy and maintain all of your own equipment, once you get everything you need you’ll still have to do the actual work yourself. You could alternatively hire one of the many great professional landscapers to take care of the work for you, such as this fantastic company offering landscaping services in San Mateo, CA.

The thing is you might not realize at the outset that landscaping is a job that never goes away. You may be planning to take care of your lawn on the weekends while you’re not busy at work. What happens if you happen upon a weekend of heavy rain? The lawn maintenance will probably not get done, but your lawn will be growing just as strong as ever. A professional landscaping service will make sure to get the job done no matter what. If they have to juggle weather or other obstacles they will make it work, because it’s their job.

Ultimately, how you decide to stay on top of your yard maintenance is a personal choice. Plenty of people take care of their own lawns and keep them in truly great shape. Just be warned – don’t underestimate the amount of time and money you’ll need to put into it to do it yourself. It may just be worthwhile to get help from someone who landscapes day in and day out.