by Suzanne Huntzinger

There’s nothing that gives the Hoosier heart a boost quite like seeing the gentle rise of bulbs popping forth from the cold ground, buds bursting forth on trees and the gentle weeping willow branches turning a magnificent chartreuse as temperatures warm.

This early burst of spring is the time to hit the ground running and get a jump on weeds, unwieldy trees, and mulch while ridding your yard of those things you found particularly annoying last season. It can be an overwhelming task – so much to do, so little time, right? Start with one step at a time, and with these 5 tips you will have your landscape shaped up in no time!


Shrub and bush pruning always leads the pack and can be done in early spring. Most shrubs – including roses and ornamental grasses – welcome getting pruned back to make way for this season’s growth.

Tree trimming is another spring task that is more preventative than anything else. Take a good look at your trees to identify any low-hanging or dead branches, particularly if those pose a hazard to your home, electrical lines or anyone walking under them!


Weed and feed: two words for a healthy summer yard.

Weed. Putting down a pre-emergent weed killer in early spring goes a long way in stopping the cursed sprouting of dandelions, crabgrass, chickweed and other grim reapers of green.

Feed. Certain fertilizers are best for your yard, depending on the time of the season – for spring, the experts recommend a slow-release or controlled-release fertilizer to reduce possible losses to the environment and increase nutrient absorption.


You know it’s spring when you see the huge piles of mulch arrive on your neighbor’s driveway. And you just hope they get it spread sometime before July, right? Show them how to do it – get out there early with your rake and shovel in your own yard … or, better yet, hire a landscape professional!

Add an inch-thick layer of fresh mulch in plant beds and around trees. Don’t let the mulch touch tree trunks and never let the mulch accumulate to more than a 3-inch depth.


Soil preparations are something homeowners sometimes overlook or discount as unnecessary. If you live in Central Indiana, you need to amend your soil before plopping a new plant in the dirt. The likelihood that you have a high concentration of clay in your yard is pretty great – and putting a new plant in there is like planting in a bucket of plaster. So, how to amend the soil? A 2 -2-1 mix of organic compost-manure-builders sand or peat will do the trick.


Timing is everything. Just because the local grocery store is offering flats of plants does not necessarily mean it’s time to put those into the ground or even in pots. You simply must have a little patience and plant annuals and vegetables after the last frost. For Central Indiana, that’s usually around Mother’s Day.

You may be surprised to learn that not all perennials, shrubs or bushes should be planted in the spring; many landscaping pros recommend planting in the fall for optimal results. While you may be excited to plant your fruit trees and flowering shrubs, heed the advice of the experts for optimal results.

If you are still feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of getting your yard in shape this spring, connect with the team at GreenImage Landscape for a professional touch and ongoing maintenance plan. Visit them at 4195 Millersville Road in Indianapolis, call them at 317-288-2921, or find them on the web at