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Seasonal Yard and Garden Clean Up

Seasonal yard and garden clean up activities typically take place in the fall and spring. General cleanup activities in the Dallas and Fort Worth metroplex may include leaf cleanup and collection, lawn scalping, overgrowth trimming and pruning, weeding, and mulch application. Other activities include cleaning out debris from swimming pools, spas, ponds, fountains, and other water features. To prevent water lines from cracking or rupturing during hard freezes, hire a licensed pool contractor to winterize and prepare pools and spas for the winter. Irrigation systems should be reset for the appropriate season and be inspected by certified, licensed irrigation specialists for leaks, broken sprinkler heads, and other possible repairs. For vegetable gardens, remove rotting fruits and vegetables along with dead and diseased plant materials.

Within ornamental and seasonal color beds, seasonal cleanup activities include removal of dead or diseased annuals and perennials. In the fall, have a landscaper add mulch around plants to maintain soil moisture, prevent weed seed germination, and moderate soil temperature. In late winter, prune and trim perennials and bush roses to encourage a fuller growth habit. Remove any unwanted or unsuited perennials and shrubs. For plants not suited to their location either by size, soil condition, or location, ask your landscape contractor to move specified plants to a more appropriate location while they are still dormant.

In the fall, lawn maintenance companies will scalp turfs and lawns for winter rye application. Lawn scalping also takes place in early spring to remove old and decayed grass in preparation for new turf growth. In fall, winter, and spring, landscape companies top dress lawns and turf with compost (preferred) or fertilizers to improve growth and grass health. For lawns and grasses plagued by excessive weeds and growth problems, soil aeration followed by a top dressing of compost in the spring will improve soil structure, fertility and soil compaction, leading to a stronger, healthier lawn.

Fall and winter are the best times to cleanup trees and shrubs in the landscape. Tree trimming and pruning should be undertaken before trees and shrubs enter active growth in the spring. Always use certified arborists for any pruning, maintenance, and relocation of trees. Never allow a landscaper or tree trimmer to 'top' trees or crepe myrtles in your landscape. Topping causes excessive structural and growth problems along with disfigurement in trees and shrubs. Once trees and shrubs go dormant for the winter, have a landscaper relocate or remove any unwanted specimens from the landscape. To maintain soil moisture and temperature over harsh winters, arborists and landscape companies install mulch near (but not touching) the base of trees after leaf cleanup in the fall.

Things to consider

  • Will debris be hauled off or picked up by your local trash service. Is debris removal extra or included in the price of the cleanup?
  • Request that all installed mulches and soils are free of weed seeds and debris.
  • Ensure all installed landscape materials such as mulch or soil are from a reputable supplier.
  • Request that all tree services such as pruning and trimming are performed by licensed and certified arborists.
  • For any irrigation system maintenance, use only licensed and insured irrigation specialists.
  • Removal of dead and diseased plant material will minimize disease, fungus, and insect infestations.

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