Are you thinking it might be wise to get a head start on your Spring yard clean up? Think again!
Those leaves and debris are shelter for the beneficial ladybugs in your yard (see the one that was hiding in my leaves) and they need shelter while the nights are still cold.

 

Where’s the best place to start with you Spring yard clean up?

 

You can safely pull back the mulch a bit from around bulbs and perennials if they are starting to bloom now, like the Lenten Rose below in my yard.
Once it is warmer, just remove the leaves that are covering your plants and leave the rest to compost naturally in your beds, continuing to shelter the ladybugs.
That leaf litter also protects your plant roots from the extreme cold and heat we are getting in Spring. The leaf litter holds moisture in the soil too and is home to helpful soil microbes that tune up your soil as they work to decompose the leaf litter.

 

If you are going to remove the leaves (once it is warmer), then do compost them in your own compost bin. If you do not have a compost bin, you can make leaf compost in bags – see http://www.eco-yards.com/leaf-compost-made-easy/. Or add them to your green bin for the City to compost.

 

When is the best time to hook up your Rain Barrels? After a few rains wash off your roof.

 

Wait to attach your rain barrels until a few spring rains have washed the loose asphalt, bird poop and other debris off your roof. then you will be getting clean rain water once you hook up your rain barrels.

 

Clean your eavestroughs now too.

 

Before those rains start is a good time to get up on a ladder to clean out your eavestroughs. This will also keep debris and dirt out of your rain barrels and will help prevent eavestrough overflow.
I take a garden trowel and bucket or bag up the ladder with me to deposit the debris I take out of the eavestroughs. If the eavestroughs are really dirty, I flush them with a garden hose after I scoop debris out. If not too dirty, I let the rains wash them out.

 

When is a good time to overseed your lawn?

 

Once the nights are above freezing temperatures is the time to overseed your lawn in Spring. then the seedlings will not freeze once they germinate. See our thorough how-to overseed article in this section.

 

Do you need to power rake or aerate your lawn? 

 

The Eco-yards answer is probably not – see this article for more:
It is best to work with nature rather than trying to rush ahead of it. It is tempting as the warm weather comes to go out and start working in your yard. Do just a bit and take a walk instead when the nights are still cold and it is still best to leave nature do its Spring cycle. Enjoy!