Winters can be messy. While you were tucked away inside over the cold months, nature kept right on moving. Even the most thorough fall cleanups can be diminished by a winter of wind, snow and rain.

It seemed like you got all the leaves up in November, but somehow another layer made its way into your beds and onto your lawn. They could have come from a tree whose leaves hung on for months, or simply blown in from your neighbor’s.

Whatever their source, they have now collected in the nooks and crannies of your yard. Through a process of freezing, thawing and re-freezing they have turned into a mucky mess. Add fallen branches and other debris to the mix and you have a yard that is both unsightly and inhospitable to springtime growth.

It may seem early to be thinking about your lawn, but spring cleanups can happen long before any new leaves have sprouted. In fact, cleaning up before blooms have emerged allows for plenty of room to work without damaging new buds and blooms.

To fully welcome spring when it emerges, your yard needs to be a clean slate. In addition to a tidy look, clearing out dead debris sets the stage for the vibrant explosion of springtime growth that we have all been waiting for.