Tips from a Landscape Architect

With the weather improving in the Spokane region, many of us are itching to get started on yard work. We asked our landscape architects to provide us with some pointers on early plans and preparation for the season. James Davis, Landscape Architect and ISA Certified Arborist at Bernardo Wills, has these pointers for you weekend warriors:

  1. Use a rake and/or leaf blower to blow any leftover leaves, pinecones, and debris from your landscape beds and into your lawn. (Tip: If using a leaf blower in close quarters against a wall, point the leaf blower at the wall instead of the debris, blowing the air off the wall and pushing the debris horizontal out towards the lawn instead of blowing it in your face).
  2. Break out that lawnmower and set the mower deck to about 2-3” above the ground, and do a quick mow of the yard. If you have a mulch catcher, attach it to pick up any leftover leaves, pinecones, debris from the fall/winter months and get your lawn looking clean and green. Don’t mow your lawn too short this early in the season. You can gradually lower your mower deck back down as the season progresses to your desired cut length. Use this technique to expedite the process of picking up debris by using the power and capabilities of your lawnmower.
  3. With the semi-dry winter we have had here in Spokane, if pulling up some of those emerging weeds proves to be difficult, try watering the area(s) where you plan to work for about 10-15 minutes (a fountain sprinkler works great for this). Turn off the water, and let it stand for another 10-15 minutes. Then try again! This technique can make some of the most difficult areas to pull weeds much simpler and easier on your body. This method works for both flower gardens and vegetable beds.


  • Bob says:

    I like what you said about using a rake to blow any leftover leaves. My backyard is barren and needs to be reseeded. I’ll have to consider getting a leafblower and landscaper to till the soil.

  • Eve Mitchell says:

    My dad loves to garden and he asked if I could help him give his garden a makeover. I really liked what you said about using a lawnmower to pick up the excess leaves. Putting that in would prevent him from always weeding as well!

  • Thanks for the great post on leaves and debris! I’m a big fan of keeping my yard tidy and your tips will definitely come in handy.
    Thanks again for the informative post – keep them coming!

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