A good spring cleaning for your landscape is the most important maintenance of the year. You can begin in late March when the snow is gone.
Start with your perennials. Clean all dead foliage from your perennials so when the new growth comes cleanup is already done. Grasses should be pruned to 6” from the ground. Most other perennials should be trimmed to the ground. Clean up the planting beds. Rake all the dead leaves and plant material out of the beds. Leaving it can be a source of disease for the plants in the coming growing season.
Trim back any plants that need to be to their desired size and shape. You might want to wait on plants that bloom in early spring. Trimming them at this time will greatly lessen the amount of bloom you will get. Shape and trim any spring blooming shrubs directly after the plant flowers.
Trim all the foundation evergreens so the random growth is in control and the new growth that will follow will be fuller.
It isn’t too late to renewal prune an overgrown shrub at this time. This is done by going into the crown of the plant and trimming out approximately 1/3 of the heaviest wood and then trimming the rest of the shrub down by about 1/3 as well. Repeating this the following 2 springs will bring an old shrub back to its youthful shape. Some plants like spirea and dogwood can be renewed by trimming them down to 6” in spring.
The time you invest in your spring cleanup is well worth the result. It will have a great impact on your plantings for the rest of the growing season and the longevity of your landscape.