6 Tips for Spring Landscaping in Western Oregon

April 2011

budding tulip spring landsdcaping tipsWinter weather in the Pacific Northwest can do a real number on your yard. Fallen leaves, broken branches, muddy walkways, and barren shrubbery can all add up to an almost uncontrollable urge to garden. But whether you’re in Gresham, Portland, or Lake Oswego, landscaping during the spring isn’t always easy. The rain, wind and cold can prevent you from doing a lot of the yard work you want to do. Luckily, there are a number of spring landscaping steps you can take to prepare your yard for the nice weather ahead. Here are six of the top yard maintenance chores you can do to help promote growth in the next few months.

1. Clean Winter Debris

The biggest spring landscaping obstacle you will have to overcome is getting rid of all the yard debris that has accumulated over the winter. This can include removing dead wood, raking, pulling weeds, trimming the lawn, removing leaves and debris from ponds and pools, pruning trees, touching up mulch, and much more. Because this is a clean-up effort, don’t get too caught up on the particulars. You shouldn’t be too worried about landscaping design. Instead, worry about wearing thick gloves, sturdy boots and heavy jeans. If your yard was hit particularly bad by winter weather you may want to consider hiring professional landscaping services provider.

2. Repair Rock Walls and Fix Stepping Stones

No matter how well the landscaping design was done, heavy rain and wind can knock down even the sturdiest of decorative rock walls and cause stone walkways to become loose and dangerous. Now is the time to inspect your dry-stacked walls and make sure there aren’t any loose stones. If there are, restack them so they don’t pose a threat to any children or pets that may walk or sit on them. To fix this problem, simply lift the stones out of their spots and level the ground beneath them with extra dirt or gravel. Make sure the newly laid stones are even or else you may have an unexpected spill the next time you’re bringing in a bag of groceries.

3. Pruning and Planting

In Western Oregon, you can prune and train fruit and berry vines at this time. If the soil is dry enough, you can also prepare your vegetable garden by planting garden peas, sweet peas, carrots, broccoli, onions and other early crops. Northwest Oregon is known for their roses, and now is a good time to plant some new ones. Those in higher elevations should wait until a little later in the year, or start their landscaping design early by planting seeds and starters indoors or in a greenhouse.

4. Map Spring Bulbs

Spring-blooming bulbs such as blue bells and tulips should be starting to sprout up by now, and creating a map of where each bulb is will help your landscaping design efforts later in the year. The map can be referred to when you are planting annuals, biennials, and other late-blooming plants. Not sure where to put that dahlia? The spring bulb map will show you just where its color will be best accented.

5. Prepare Tools

Even if the weather is still too nasty to get any serious landscaping done, you can still prepare for the next few months by cleaning off your tools and accessories. A lot of time can be spared when the sunny weather finally does hit by cleaning shovels, spades, rakes, hoes, hoses, and ceramic pots now. You can even start buying later season vegetable and flower seeds and starters now, especially if you have a greenhouse or a sunroom in which to keep them.

6. Clean Gutters

This step can be dangerous, sure, but it is an annoying necessity if you want to keep a healthy yard. A clogged gutter can not only lead to damage to your roof but also to your yard. A strategically placed downspout is meant to keep rain water from ruining a carefully landscaped yard, but if that downspout is inoperable the water will overflow into yards, garden beds, and other sensitive areas around your house. If that happens, you will need to call not only a local landscaping services company but a roof repair company as well. Yikes!

Many homeowners in the Pacific Northwest eagerly await the regular sunshine of spring, not knowing that there are plenty of landscaping chores they can take care of even during the rainy months. Of course, not all yard work should be done by an amateur. If you have fallen tree limbs, an overgrown out of control yard, or large amounts of dirt or rock to move, your best bet would be to call a professional landscaping services provider. It may cost a little more, but the price of your safety and well-being – not to mention the time you will save – will be well worth it.

[ photo by : muffet ]

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