As I look out my window today it appears to be pretty sunny outside. Looks like a good day to go outside and begin my spring clean up for the season.

Whew was I wrong. If you noticed the date of this post it is January 15th today. here in the Michigan region it is only 2 degrees outside right now. Although it looks pretty sunny outside, there is still a lot of snow and its bitter bitter bitter cold outside. That doesn't mean we shouldn't begin to think about our spring clean up efforts though.

Although there isn't a lot of things that need to be done to get the lawn ready for it's new growth period. I have always liked to begin thinking about it early. Lets go over some of the things we should focus on once these temperatures warm up and of course all the snow from that last storm and the next couple storms I am sure we will have.

1) If you have a dog like I do then you already know that they can build up quit the mess over the winter. Sometime you can even wonder where all that came from, or am I feeding this dog to much whew. Well just realize that in this area of the country that's 4 or even 5 months of buildup.
We should begin by removing as much of this as possible. using a pooper scooper works well. Last year I discover that the easiest way was to find a neighborhood kid looking for a little extra money. That worked well although it wasn't cheap.
These messes should be removed as soon as possible because although it is natural fertilizer, it's not much different than poring a pile of fertilizer in one spot and leaving it there. It will burn over time. Most of the harmful affects of dog messes  have pretty much disinigrated over the winter but it really should be removed for sanitary reasons and for a more beautiful lawn.

2) The kids toys. Why why why can't they put them away when they are done with them. I don't know if they think the yard is their toy box or if this little mechanism in their brain makes them automaticly just drop the toy when they are done playing. Well it's time to get these toys picked up now as well. A great way to achieve this is to just go ahead and do it yourself. I am sure you can ask your kids to do it, or even tell them to but honostly if it's that much of a beautiful day outside do you really want to spend it argueing with your kids. I'm sure they already told you that they were of fto do something else that had nothing to do with cleaning the yard today.
It is important to remove the tos from the lawn because your lawn is about to come out of dormancy. At this time it will be looking for sunlight, moisture and fresh air and anything clocking the lawn from getting those 3 things could hinder the ablility to grow properly.

3) along with all the toys it would be a good idea to pick up all the debris from the lawn as well. Over the winter there tends to be a lot of falling branches and leaves that held on until the snow fall. These should be picked up as well for the same reasons as the toys. We don't want anything the hinder the growth of the grass. Do as you wish but I usually do this at the same time as the toys because they usally wind up in the same trash bag together anyways. If they left them out all winter, they must not want them. Just my opinion. Like I said, do as you wish.

4) Now is a good time to rake the lawn. as I described in my Snow Mold blog, raking will allow airflow to the soil better reducing any potential more molds and diseases such as snow mold. I know your thinking " Oh Man, have you seen the size of this lawn". Don't worry. You have options. There's still that neighborhood kid we talked about earlier. If you have a lawn that is small enough for you to rake, then it is usually best to try to rake it all with a softer rake such as a plast rake. If it is to big to rake the entire thing then try walking around the lawn adn identifying any key areas that appear to be matted down. These areas are the most important to try to rake. These are the areas that will suffer from molds and diseases.

5) Did you mow before winter? If you mowed your lawn in the fall just before it became to cold and the lawn never grew back to the point that you thought you should have mowed one more time. Then don't even worry about mowing right now. If the lawn was 3 inches or longer before the snow started to fall then yes, you may go ahead and mow now to help the lawn begin it's new growth process.
( If you are not mowing today, it would be a good time to sharpen your mower blades or have them replaced.)

6) Your kids are gone because it's such a great day outside. Your wife is probably inside doing some spring cleaning. This is the most important step of them all. Walk around the lawn for a while, mess around with the shrubs for a while, LOOK BUSY. We all love spending quality time with our wives and children but hey, if the kids are gone and the wife is cleaning inside. Do you really want to have to go inside on this beautiful day and help her clean. LOOK BUSY. Start the mower, shut it off, Wait 10 minutes, start the mower, shut it off. etc.. you get the point right. LOOK BUSY. This also applies to the ladies as well. If your husband is inside doing the spring cleaning and you are outside working on the lawn. LOOK BUSY.

Just another tip from the Lawn Care Dr.
Enjoy The Day