The fading winter chill makes this the perfect time for spring cleaning, and not just around the house. Before the spring heat fully descends on the Baton Rouge area, do yourself and your landscape a favor by performing some lawn and garden preparations to give yourself the best chance for a beautiful yard this summer.

Why Prepare Your Landscape for Spring?

It’s a common question for homeowners not familiar with landscaping best practices. Simply put, the cold temperatures and rainfall during winter do a number on your shrubs, trees and lawn, often leaving them weak, waterlogged, starved for sunshine and even dead in some areas. Rising temperatures aren’t enough to get them back to their previous beauty. They often need a helping hand, which is where spring lawn and garden preparations come into play.

Clear the Debris

The first step in preparing your landscape for spring is to break out your rake and clear the excess debris, such as leaves, twigs and branches, from the ground. This clears the way for mowers, mulch and fertilizer, allows your other plants to breathe easier and provides you a better view of your yard’s overall condition so you can assess what needs work in the coming weeks.

Raking also clears away thatch in your lawn, which is a layer of dry, dead blades of grass that forms between the soil and the green vegetation on the top. Thatch builds upon the surface of grass, often in the winter, and can prevent new grass from growing in the spring. Clearing it away ensures your lawn will receive optimal sunlight and other nutrients.

Trim Trees and Shrubs

Cold temperatures can do a lot of damage to plants and shrubs, resulting in dried leaves and dead limbs. These don’t always indicate the tree or shrub is dead, however. It most cases, it simply needs to be pruned or trimmed before it can begin re-growing and replacing the dried areas.

If you have large trees in your yard and you notice any dead-looking limbs, you should consider contacting a professional landscaping or tree service company to have them removed. Weakened tree limbs are a major safety concern, as a strong wind could cause them to fall on your home or vehicle.


Applying a layer of mulch to flower and shrub beds fights off weeds and protects your existing plants. It’s recommended you start with a thin layer of mulch – fine mulches should be applied one to two inches deep, while coarser mulches will require about four inches. Mulch layers that are too thick can prevent the shrub itself from growing.

Apply Fertilizer

Now is the perfect time to apply a combination of fertilizer and pre-emergent to your lawn. The dynamic duo simultaneously feeds your grass and protects from invasive weeds, like crabgrass. The first application should be early on in spring, with a second application coming five to six weeks later for ideal germination. It may be tempting to re-seed dead patches, but a more effective approach is applying fertilizer in spring. Fall is a better time for re-seeding.

Start a Compost Pile

If you don’t have a compost pile already, now is a great time to start one. Simply take all the lawn clippings, fallen leaves, twigs and other debris you’ve already removed from your yard and place them into a good-sized bin, stirring the mixture about once per week. You can also add other organic waste, such as egg shells, fruit and vegetable scraps. In several weeks, the scraps will have decomposed and transformed into a homemade organic garden soil and fertilizer.

Professional Landscapers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty in the yard can be a very rewarding experience. However, not everyone has a green thumb, and in some cases, the job may call for more work or experience than the typical homeowner can safely or effectively provide, such as trimming large trees or bushes or performing seasonal pruning. In those instances, River City Landscaping can be the ideal helping hand. We provide all kinds of residential and commercial landscaping services throughout the Baton Rouge area. No job is too big or too small!

Call us today at 225-364-2024 or contact us online for more information about scheduling landscaping services.