Each spring, homeowners from coast to coast spend a combined total of millions of dollars or devote endless hours to erase the effects of a harsh winter on their landscaping. Spring cleaning shrub beds should be part of this clean up. Rotting leaves have accumulated around root balls of most shrubs. Strong winter winds have caused mature trees to naturally prune themselves and litter shrub beds with branches and twigs. All of this debris should be carefully removed before shrubs are fertilized and mulch is applied. Plantings should be pruned of dead limbs to promote new growth as well. As part of this spring spruce-up, homeowners should also ensure they won’t have rainwater runoff from their roof, which can ruin their painstaking efforts to keep their plantings healthy and strong.
Spring Cleaning Shrub Beds
Shrubs and plants can easily become damaged or destroyed by rainwater overflowing from clogged gutters. Fertilizer and mulch can quickly be washed away to expose fragile roots. Of even greater concern is the extensive damage runoff can cause to a home. Gutters clogged with twigs, leaves, bee and bird nests have to cope with budding trees dropping seed pods, helicopters and tassels. Result? Gutter overflow, leading to flooded basements, insect damage from rotting wood or mold and mildew—all of which can require costly home repairs.
Gutter cleaning is seen by some as a painstaking hassle and by others as a potentially frightening experience. Either way, it’s an age-old problem. Back in 1880, J.M. Hess decided to do something about it and received the first U.S. patent for a gutter protection system. Since then, hundreds of patents have been issued to solve the problem, but no product has been able to keep the interior of a gutter free and clear of debris at all times. Effective gutter protection solves the perennial problem of gutter cleaning, while offering peace of mind that your investment in your landscaping and home are preserved.
It’s a simple fact that leaves and debris, when wet, will follow water anywhere it goes. And that includes right around the curves of today’s most popular gutter cover systems—right into your gutter. If debris can get in through the cover, there is nothing to stop it from building up and clogging both your gutter and underground drains.
Most systems marketed today are based on how liquid adhesion works with reverse curve flow, a concept first designed and patented over 100 years ago. This design has been part of the public domain for more than 80 years, meaning anyone can put it to use for a gutter. Put in a minor tweak with special hangers or angles and dips and you can call it a patented system. But it doesn’t change the fact that it’s a design that didn’t keep all debris out of a gutter in 1900. That design will still let in debris today.
And in addition to thinking about the best gutter guard option, you should consult your professional landscaper or local garden center for advice on the best fertilizers for spring cleaning your shrub beds for your shrubs, plants and bulbs. Organic mulches will improve the soil as they decompose to offer plants and shrubs additional nutrients. Ensuring the quality of the soil and root protection are critical, so keeping water from your roof and gutters away from your plantings should be your first step to maintain your shrub beds so that they beautify your home for years to come.