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Garden cleanups - your checklist to get your yard into shape

Last Updated Feb 16, 2016 · Written by Rob Schneider

We tend to do routine jobs in the garden, but often overlook less routine jobs until the garden starts to suffer from our negligence. If you've been neglecting your yard, you may need to roll up your sleeves and give it a good cleanup. Here's a checklist of jobs to get your yard back into shape.


Garden Cleanup Checklist

Most of us remember to mow the lawn and water the garden, but occasionally your garden will need extra care. A good way to keep your yard in shape is to give it a good seasonal cleanup. These are some of the things you need to do before spring and autumn:

  1. Weed your garden.
  2. Follow up weeding with a layer of mulch, if needed.
  3. Prune, trim and remove dead branches and twigs.
  4. Aerate, feed and repair your lawn.
  5. Clean water features.
  6. Repot your pot plants as necessary

You can take a step-by-step approach and schedule cleanup tasks for weekends or you can hire a garden maintenance service to do the work for you, but these are the most essential garden cleanup jobs. If you do them in early spring and late summer, maintaining your garden throughout the rest of the year will be much easier.

Easy Ways to Brighten Your Garden

Doing a garden cleanup is a great way to focus your attention on your garden and think of ways to improve it. Are there areas in your garden that need brightening up? How can you give them a lift without spending a fortune? Here are some ideas:

  • Replace plants that aren't doing well.
  • Add summer and winter annuals to your garden for splashes of colour.
  • Install a water feature in your garden.
  • Create a focal point in your garden.

Sometimes we buy a plant, but don't give enough consideration to its location in the garden. Some plants require more sun or shade than others. If you've planted something that requires full sun in a shady area, you may need to transplant it and replace it.


Ask your nursery or a local garden designer about plants that flower in winter in your area. Then you won't have to wait until spring and summer to enjoy splashes of colour in your yard.

A water feature, garden furniture or a garden sculpture can help create a focal point in your garden. A focal point draws the eye and becomes the centrepiece of your garden. Having a focal point is important in any garden of any size. Without it, there is nothing to attract the eye and your garden has less emotional impact. The focal point doesn't have to be large or expensive, but the area around it should also be landscaped to help draw attention to it.


A garden cleanup and repair is only costly and time consuming if you've neglected your yard and it needs major improvements. Stay on top of your routine jobs and give your garden seasonal cleanups and you will spend more time enjoying your garden than working in it.

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