We are in the middle of spring and summer is right around the corner. Kids are starting to get out of school, blooms are now turning into lush green shrubs and trees, and some lawns are looking a little overgrown. Whether you’re planning for a summer pool party, or just want to be the talk of the neighborhood, here is a great to-do checklist to get your yard ready for summer.

Mow and maintain the lawn.

If all the snow melting from the winter has caused your lawn will to be thick with moss, clover, or crabgrass, it may be time for a thorough thatching. Thatching means taking up the intermingled organic layer of dead and living shoots, stands, and roots that develop between the green vegetation and the soil surface. This buildup begins when the ground produces organic debris faster than it can be broken down. By either taking a rake or thatching machine, you can pull up that debris and start over. The immediate results are not attractive, but with some additional weed, feed and seeding, it will look brand new in no time.

If you just need to mow the lawn, consider trimming the edges, cleaning up borders around walkways and stairs, and putting in a nice layer of weed and feed,  or nitrogen to brighten up the green color.

(The average cost of monthly yard maintenance could be between $70 and $150. Thatching can run you about $250-$400.)

Trimming, pruning, or removal of trees and shrubs.

If your plants are looking a little scraggly, diseased, or thin, a good pruning, trimming, or even removal of some may help clean up the yard. Trimming away dead portions or diseased portions of trees can also benefit surrounding bushes and shrubs.

(Tree removal services can run anywhere from $200 to over $1000 depending on the size of the tree and pruning and trimming starts at about $100.)

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Install a sprinkler system.

Before summer really gets underway, now would be the best time to install a sprinkler system. The ground has thought and is easily workable. By setting it up now, it will be ready for the summer watering season.

(New sprinkler systems start at about $500 and can easily run over $3000 depending on how many nozzles you have and the extensiveness of your garden. Activating sprinkler systems cost about $80.)

Leaf removal.

Leaves may fall in the autumn, but blossoms and blooms fall in the spring. Large ornamental grass should be cut back, leaves removed, and blossoms swept so they don’t cause new starter shoots or get slippery if it rains. Plus, leaves can create a rotting mess on the ground and detract from the beauty of the landscaping itself. Read More: 4 ways to clean up leaves and what to do with them

(Leaf removal can start at about $150.)

Whether you just want to be the talk of the neighborhood, or you’re doing a little curb appeal for a summer sale, starting with these simple tips will get you there quicker.

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