A spring cleanup helps to remove this debris, which can smother the grass and other plants, prevent air and
sunlight from reaching the soil, and create a breeding ground for pests and diseases.
Spring cleanups of your lawn and yard get them ready for summer and promote good turf, plant and tree health. Why are spring cleanups important? A clean and well-maintained landscape enhances the curb appeal of your home and promotes the overall health of your lawn and plants.
By removing debris and tidying up your yard, you can create a neat and inviting space that will be the envy of your neighbors and provide your family with an enjoyable space to play, relax and have fun!
For military families with a loved one who is deployed, however, spring cleanups are not that easy. Spending an entire day picking up sticks or weeding beds is a luxury of time most military families do not have.
The GreenCare for Troops program from Project EverGreen connects military families with volunteers from the lawn care and professional landscape industry to help with spring (and fall) cleanups, as well as a host of other lawn care and landscape services. These services are provided free of charge for eligible military families for the length of the deployment. For eligibility requirements, visit the Project EverGreen website.
Spring Cleanup Basics
- Remove Debris – During the winter months, debris such as fallen branches, leaves, and other organic matter may accumulate on your lawn and planting beds. A spring cleanup helps to remove this debris, which can smother the grass and other plants, prevent air and sunlight from reaching the soil, and create a breeding ground for pests and diseases. The debris must be cleaned up before mowing and before fresh mulch and annual flowers are planted.
- Prepare for New Growth – As the weather warms up and the days get longer, plants and grasses begin to emerge from their winter dormancy. By cleaning up your landscape in the spring, you can prepare the soil and make room for new growth. This allows your plants to get the nutrients, water, and sunlight they need to thrive.
- Perennial Cutbacks – Not cutting back plants is one of the biggest mistakes when caring for perennials. It causes them to become overgrown, unsightly, and can result in them crowding other plants.
- Prevents Pests and Diseases – By removing debris and dead plants from your landscape, you can prevent pests and diseases from taking hold. Dead and decaying plants can attract insects and other pests that can damage healthy plants, while debris can create a breeding ground for fungi and other diseases.
- Deep Edge Planting Beds and Tree Rings – Deep edging around plant beds and tree rings is a lot like adding a frame around a landscaped area. A hand spade or mechanical shaper is used to produce a distinct edge between your turf and beds — something that needs to be done before pre-emergent and fresh mulch are applied. A deep manicured edge will help hold back grassroots and weeds from creeping into a landscaped bed. It also makes mowing up to flower bed edges easier and greatly reduces the risk of damage.
- Apply Pre-Emergent Herbicide – A pre-emergent doesn’t kill existing weeds. Instead, it prevents weeds from taking root in the first place. When this step is taken routinely, it reduces the need for weed killers later in the year. Pre-emergent should be applied early in the season when soil temperatures are still below 50 degrees. If applied too late, you run the risk of battling weeds all spring and summer long.
- Add Mulch – Once pre-emergent has been applied, adding a fresh layer of mulch next can do wonders for a winter-worn landscape. Mulch is an essential part of your commercial landscaping maintenance plan, and adding a fresh layer of mulch in the spring comes with a handful of benefits. It can curb weed germination and growth and help soil retain moisture and stay cooler as temperatures rise. This is extremely valuable during the summer heat.
Why are Green Spaces Important to Military Families?
Parks, lawns, landscapes and maintained green spaces help to mitigate temperature increases in communities and significantly reduce energy use and cooling costs. Project EverGreen’s initiatives – GreenCare for Troops and GreenCare for Communities – have made a significant impact.
Through its nationwide base of professional volunteers, Project EverGreen has connected people, plants and their communities to maximize the health of grass, plants and trees, which in turn sequesters carbon and cleans the air. Both initiatives support healthy green spaces in neighborhoods and cities, enabling maintained green spaces to function as the lungs of the city and offsetting the negative effects of a warming environment.
A single group or individual cannot transform lawns, landscapes and parks but Project EverGreen’s coalition of businesses and individuals helps maintain green spaces so they can thrive.
Become A Volunteer Today
Are you ready to step up for a military family? Register today
The Title Sponsor of the GreenCare for Troops program Title Sponsor is Nufarm. SnowCare for Troops program in BOSS Snowplow. Platinum Partners include Toro and SiteOne Landscape Supply. The Gold Partners are AMGUARD Environmental Sciences and Arborjet/Ecologel.
Affiliate Partners include the Connecticut Grounds Keepers Association and the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association.
GreenCare for Troops is endorsed by the National Association of Landscape Professionals
Photo Credit: The Davey Tree Expert Co.