Annual Springtime Jobs Include Yard Work

A reader shares a few of the springtime chores on her list, including yard work, gardening and junk removal.

| March/April 2014

Springtime Yard Work

Flower pots, a welcome sign, a rake, a birdfeeder and bird, statues and a wind chime being prepared to be set out for yard decorations.

Illustration by Brian Orr

Is there anything more motivating than springtime? If there are any traces of snow left, it’s usually in the form of little melting rivulets headed for streams and rivers. The cold, unforgiving Minnesota winter is in my rearview mirror, and warmer weather is gaining a toehold.

That warm weather brings with it spring chores. It’s time to trade in the snow shovels for garden tools and hoses. I keep a rake handy to gently brush leftover leaves from the daffodils and tulips as they appear from the ground. Who isn’t anxious to see some bright, beautiful reds and yellows after enduring winter’s gray and white for several months?

My husband, although he’s not interested in gardening, faithfully tills the garden plot for me every spring and fall. Then I go to work marking my rows and trying to keep them straight, using two small wooden slats that have heavy string wound around them. I carefully unwind the string as I eyeball where the row should be placed, and then I mark it by hoeing a shallow furrow. Once that’s done, I continue by planting pea, lettuce and radish seeds in the rows, covering them just a bit with dirt, then gently watering them so they’ll grow and produce delicious food.

I don’t mind the slight dampness that sometimes hangs in the air as I go through my springtime rituals because I know warmer days are ahead. The air is washed clean, and bright blue skies and puffy clouds return. I sometimes see small dust devils form from the changing temperatures and watch bits of dried leaves swirl in the air. As I work outside, raking up what remains of last year’s leaves, I’m often serenaded by the birds that have returned and gathered in the trees in our ravine. They sound like they enjoy springtime, too, and soon they’ll start their own chore of building nests.

I enjoy growing herbs and flowers in pots, and spring is the time to fill those pots with dirt from the garden plot where it’s been tilled but not yet planted. Then I place the pots on the deck and wait patiently until the outdoor temperatures rise so it’s safe to plant the tender seeds and bedding plants.

One of our yearly spring rituals involves junk removal from the ditches on our gravel road. Even when my kids were small, they enjoyed sorting and recycling all the junk we picked up.

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