Part of keeping an attractive and well-maintained home is keeping it clear of snow/ice and repairing the after-effects of winter during a spring cleanup. Here are some tips to help you keep your yard clear during winter and to maintain it for the warmer season.
Remove Snow Safely
During winter, it is important to keep your walk and driveways clear of snow and ice to permit safe travel for you, others, and vehicles. If you have newly poured concrete in your yard, it is important to not use many types of ice melt on the pavement, as it can cause damage to its surface. Using ice melts release harmful chemicals that seep into your lawn, soils, and the environment. If you must use chemical deicers in your yard, opt for magnesium chloride, which melts snow and ice well below zero, releases less chloride into the environment, and is less damaging to your concrete surface and landscaping plants.
You can also apply sand onto your paved surfaces to help melt snow and ice and to provide traction for yourself and vehicles. Sprinkle sand onto surfaces after you have shoveled any standing snow. If you are using a professional snow removal service, let them know where your landscaping areas are, and have them watch out for curbs and edges of your concrete, so they do not cause any damage to your front yard.
After the snow and ice have melted from your yard, you can see all the remnants of the snow's dirt and silt accumulation on your yard and pavement. This is a good time to spray off these areas to safely remove any remaining deicing chemicals and salt from the roadways your vehicles have carried onto your property. Use a garden hose with a sprayer nozzle set on a directional spray, or use a pressure washer with a tip, to clean your concrete, removing all dirt and silt from the area.
Over the winter, it can be common for your soil and mulch coverings to become disturbed and misplaced. A good task while spring cleaning your yard is to repair the landscaping and prepare it for the summer's upcoming heat. Replacing the mulch in your landscape areas helps prevent soil moisture from evaporating from the heat, as the mulch creates a protective barrier to trap in moisture. And it is good to supplement your mulch each spring to replace any that has decomposed into the soil.
First, remove any dead weed growth from last year and trim back any perennial vegetation to prepare for the spring growth. Buy some bagged mulch from a local home improvement store or from an alternate source and spread it down over the bare and thinning areas of your landscape soil. In addition to preparing the soil and your vegetation for the heat of summer, the mulch makes your yard look uniform and the soil rich.