Spring Cleaning Outdoors

Friday, April 25, 2014

I started spring yard clean up over a month ago, but didn't get around to mulching until yesterday and today.  Within the past 2 weeks, nearly every tree in my yard has burst back to life with beautiful spring green leaves.  It makes such a difference in how the outdoors feels and provides so much privacy.  Not just my own trees but my neighbor's trees too.

The grass still looks like death, but whatever.  I was trying to go organic and avoid the use of chemicals on the weeds.   I put down corn gluten meal which is a pre-emergent, so I am hoping it fights the summer weeds.  But I started pulling the existing weeds by hand and as I got down on the ground, I realized it was pretty much all weeds.  So that's kind of throwing a wrench in my organic plan.  I feel really tempted to just spray them, but then again, that hasn't ever been that effective either.

For now, I think the other plants are being nice to me since the grass is so merciless.

Upstairs in the garden..

And downstairs.  

I attempted pruning my crepe myrtles for the first time in about 4 years.  I did it years ago and didn't like how it grew back from the pruning.  The shoots couldn't support the weight of the flowers. And I didn't want to have the knobby hacked-off look, so I found an article online that gave directions.  I kept waiting for the part where I hacked off a branch, but it really was about thinning out the tree and losing the small branches.  I'm not sure if it's correct, but we'll see how they do this year. 

I also transplanted the hydrangea below that's underneath the window, so I'm looking forward to some purple blooms this summer.

Our lawn mower went down last fall after 10 years of use and zero service.  So I switched to an old school reel mower, and I love it.  We have steps in our back yard to a grass area I have to mow and this one is so much easier to lift up the steps.  I wanted to buy one when we first moved here but was talked out of it.  I should have trusted my gut.  It's so easy to use, plus no gas, no oil, and no fumes.  Maybe we'll call that the 'organic' part of lawn care.  

I still want to pot up some herbs, and plant a few more veggies. I'm also planning a succulent planter. But for now, I think the back yard is cleaned up. Well, except for the grass. But even weeds look better when they're cut and edged. (At least the HOA won't have to send me ugly letters.) What a difference a few weeks makes in the spring. The pics below were taken two and a half weeks apart.

I'm hoping to finish mulching the front and side yards by next week.  It's going to be a nice weekend here for yard work.  Have a great weekend!


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