Spring Clean-Up

Spring Cleaning: Light Version

The laidback gardener does practically no fall cleanup (he trusts that Mother Nature knows how to take care of his plants)… but in the spring, there a modicum of cleaning to do.


Collect any waste that has found its way into your garden: paper,, plastic bags, frisbees, etc. Also pick up any branches that have fallen off trees during the winter. Yes, do rake up and compost fall leaves that have accumulated on your walkways and driveway, but not those that fell into your flower beds, as they are already decomposing and enriching your soil. Most will disappear on their own over the coming weeks and as to those that are slower to decompose… let’s just call them “mulch”, and you don’t have to pick up mulch! As for any stems of perennials that are still standing, snap them off at the base and lay them on the ground at the foot of the plant that had produced them. After all, as they decompose, they too will enrich the soil.

And there you go: you’ve finished your garden’s spring cleanup and your coffee isn’t even cold yet!

If you are lucky enough to have a wooded area on your property, congratulations: you’ll have even less cleaning up to do than the average gardener. Indeed, while you may want to do a quick cleanup of flower beds that border the woods, in the forest itself, minor irregularities are simply not visible and so you have no cleaning at all to do… except maybe picking up wandering papers and plastic bags. Make this your motto and your gardening life will be much simpler: a forest takes care of itself!

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, laidbackgardener.blog will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

6 comments on “Spring Cleaning: Light Version

  1. In the realm of outdoor cleaning services within South-East Queensland, Presha Cleaning is the preferred option for homeowners. Our commitment remains unwavering, regardless of the complexity of the cleaning task. You can look here more. We leverage cutting-edge equipment and our expertise in the most current pressure washing methods, ensuring that we consistently deliver outstanding outcomes on a diverse range of surfaces.

  2. Spring cleaning is the hardest part. Cleanliness is needed not only inside the house, but also outside. To remove leaves, dirt from the eaves, to clean the roof, you need to spend a lot of time. Cleaning is the best solution. I advise Toronto Window Cleaners, as it is an excellent service with nice prices.

  3. We are fortunate that most of our landscapes are forested. However, this last winter was a doozie! What a mess!

  4. Margaret

    Short and sweet – just like the time I want to spend on the ‘work’ I need to do in my garden. Bring on the play: the planning, the planting, and the pleasure of seeing it all grow. ?

    • Margaret

      Funny. The text turned my sunflower emoji into a question mark.

  5. Pingback: Doesn’t Nature Do Things Well! - Laidback Gardener

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