Bounce back from winter

Finally! The chances of snow are starting to disappear from the forecast, the last few piles of icy slush are drying up around your neighborhood, and your yard is hinting that spring is coming yet again!

Will your yard and landscaping perk up with enough warm temperatures, sunshine and water? Yes, but you can help get it back faster and greener with these tips.

First, do some spring cleaning. Clear out the leaves, branches and yard clippings that may have collected under the snow all winter. Use a blower or your hand tools across your grass. If there are any trees or shrubs that didn't survive the cold season, it's a good time to remove them. Prune the mature trees and shrubs to allow new growth.

Then, rake your grass to remove dead and matted down areas. This will help expose the lawn to more air and moisture. Dead grass and old lawn clippings can get packed down by snow over the winter. Also, aerate your soil by poking holes in the lawn or using a plug aerator.

Now, weed! This is the best time to attack the weeds leftover and hibernating from last year. Be aggressive about pulling weeds- address them as soon as they start to pop up and spray to prevent seeds from maturing. Make sure you do this before applying any fertilizer.

Patch or cover bare areas by adding seed or sod. You may have some dead spots, especially from pets over the winter. This would be a good time to hydroseed, if that's part of your landscaping plan. Allowing the grass to grow roots during cooler temperatures will save on your water bill and promote healthy, deep roots into the soil.

Finish off with a fertilizer. After you've done all the maintenance needed, a spring fertilization followed by a healthy morning/evening watering will help your yard come back to life!