Raking, pruning, fertilizing…where do you begin? As the nice weather arrives and we retire the snow shovels and salt for the season, you’ll want to get your yard spring ready.

A thorough spring yard cleanup gets your landscaping ready for summer. Here are a few steps to follow to get you on your way to enjoying the great outdoors at home.

The first step for lawn care is to start prepping it by cleaning up the leaves, pinecones, twigs and other debris by raking or using a air blower. Be sure the ground is completely dry before you rake so you don’t damage the lawn. You’ll also want to pick up what your dog left behind through all of the winter months.

Next, early in the season you’ll want to apply fertilizer to feed the grass and prevent crabgrass. Re-seed bare patches in the lawn. You should loosen up the surface, level the soil and spread a mixture of grass seed and compost or fertilizer over the bare spot. Then water as needed.

Trim back the dead branches on all of your shrubs and trees and on any perennials that look overgrown. Edge and turn your garden beds and remove any dead leaves and stalks from perennials left behind. Then replace your old mulch with a good heavy fresh mulch. Once the plants come up, some perennials can benefit from being divided in the spring.

Now that you’re cleaned up and all set for the growing season to start, you can get out and enjoy your yard!