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Spring cleaning in the garden: When to start & instructions on how to do it productively

Spring cleaning in the garden is one of the most important actions all home gardeners should take. This reduces the risk of weeds and plant diseases during the growing months. But instead of just cleaning up the winter mess, check out this spring cleaning guide to learn the best time to start and how to do it properly and productively. In this article, you’ll still find a spring cleaning checklist with the tasks you need to do and the tools you’ll need for yard work.

Why is spring cleaning in the garden important

Why spring cleaning is important for the garden

Dead plants, stems and leaves littering your beds not only look unsightly, they can also be unhealthy. They harbor disease spores and fungi that can cause serious problems later in the season. All of this dead material also contains weeds that can spread quickly if left unattended. That’s why it’s always a good idea to do some spring cleaning to keep your garden free of disease and weeds.

When to start spring cleaning 2022

Spring cleaning checklist of tasks you need to do

Wait until temperatures have permanently dropped above 10 degrees Celsius before you start spring cleaning your garden. Many species of bees and other pollinators overwinter in the stems and leaves of plants and won’t come out until it’s warm enough. You don’t want to accidentally kill them if you start cleaning too early. It’s also best to wait until the ground has thawed and dried out a bit. If you start walking on the beds while the soil is still wet, you may cause settling, which in turn will make it harder for the plants to grow later.

What is included in spring cleaning in the garden

Spring is a good time for weeding in the garden

Here’s a quick rundown of the tasks on your spring garden cleaning checklist. But don’t worry, you don’t have to do it all in one day.

Prune shrubs: early spring is a good time to prune shrubs. It stimulates new growth and helps prevent plant disease problems. But don’t cut back early-blooming shrubs just yet. Wait until the blooming period is over, or you may accidentally cut off all the buds.

Remove winter mulch and other protectants: as soon as temperatures rise, you can remove the winter mulch you placed on your sensitive plants last fall.

Spring cleaning in the garden - remove winter mulch


Leaf removal on plants: Don’t worry, you don’t have to remove all the leaves from your beds; in fact, they are perfect for the soil. Leaves act as a mulch layer that keeps weeds at bay, and they nourish plants as they decompose. Just be sure to remove the layers of leaves on your plants.

Pull out dead annual flowers: flowers like petunias, begonias, marigolds and geraniums only live for a year in harsh climates and don’t grow back after winter. Therefore, you need to pull them out of the ground, roots and all, and throw them in the compost garbage can .

Remove dead plant matter from perennials: prune or remove dead leaves from perennials such as hostas, daylilies, ornamental grasses, primroses and sedums.

Spring cleaning in the garden - when you should start it

Maintain your vegetable garden: when maintaining your vegetable beds, try to remove as much plant debris and roots as possible. Also remove dead vines from growing trellises so they look better while new vines take root.

Weeding: Spring is a good time to weed. Weeds are easy to spot before perennials begin to grow. When you are finished weeding, cover the soil with a thick layer of mulch. This will prevent new weeds from sprouting.

What tasks are part of the garden care in the spring


Fence off beds to remove grass: grass likes to sneak into beds and easily goes unnoticed during the busy summer months. Once you remove the debris and weeds, the grass is easier to see. It’s also easy to pull out since the ground is moist.

Checklist of cleaning tasks in your yard

Pulling out dead annual flowers in the spring

In addition to yard maintenance, there are other tasks you should complete when spring cleaning your yard.

  • Lawn care: gather branches, remove large piles of dead leaves and remove other debris that has accumulated on the lawn. But wait to rake until the ground has thawed and dried.
  • Pruning trees: if you need to prune some trees in your yard, the best time to do it is when the tree is still dormant.
  • Cleaning the patio: sweep patios and similar areas and clean the furniture.

Tools for spring cleaning in the garden

What tools you need for spring cleaning in the garden

There are many great tools that make spring cleaning in the garden much easier and faster. Here are a few:

Pruning shears: Since trimming trees and shrubs is an important part of spring garden maintenance, you definitely need a good pair of shears. Make sure they’re clean and sharp before you get started.

Heavy-duty hand shears: Regular shears are fine for most jobs. However, heavy-duty hand shears are designed to cut through thick logs and branches with ease.

Branch shears for thick branches and trunks: This amazing tool can cut through thick roots or branches of trees and shrubs effortlessly!

Garden maintenance checklist - prune the shrubs

Hand rake: This handy tool is used to remove leaves and other debris around plants and trunks. A hand rake is especially useful when you need to clean up around prickly or thorny plants.

Weed Trimmer: Another nifty tool you didn’t know you needed until you had it!

Hedge Trimmer: Another good tool for spring cleaning in your garden is a hedge trimmer. It can be used to quickly cut back dead perennials or trim unruly shrubs into shape.