All landscape areas should be cleaned up in the spring for aesthetics and the health of your landscape. Trees, shrubs (except spring-blooming ones), brambles and roses should be pruned. Old growth on perennials should be cut back and discarded. It’s also a good time to rake out any dropped leaves and other debris from the landscape beds, along with dead weeds. These are wintering spots for both insects and disease.

Now for a nice, new layer of mulch! It’s true that a nice edge and freshly applied mulch give your property that “finished” look, but there are also a lot of plant health reasons to mulch your trees and shrubs.

• Conserving moisture in the root zone of the mulched plants by reducing the rate of evaporation from the soil.

• Maintaining a more uniform soil temperature, which reduces root damage from heat and cold.

• Preventing soil crusting, which means better water flow into the soil and faster, more efficient watering.

• Reducing weeds and the job of weeding, which keeps your beds and entire landscape looking better all season long.

So start the season right with a good cleanup and mulch program!