Ready, Set...Go!

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Spring doesn’t officially arrive until later this month, but in my mind it’s always today, March 1st , when spring begins. Now we can really get busy with activities in the garden!

Your top priority, if you haven’t done so already, is to prune your flowering shrubs. This is your last chance to do any major renewal or rejuvenation pruning; both require cutting branches back all the way to the ground. Go here for more information on this type of pruning, and here for additional related topics (scroll down to the pruning heading).

Cut back your ornamental grasses. If you wait too long to cut them back you run the danger of cutting off the tops off the new growth too, and they will remain misshapen for the entire season.

Cut back your perennials. If you are a lazy fall gardener or just enjoy the winter texture of your dried perennials (like me), now is the time to cut back and remove all of that dead foliage. However, it’s still too early to rake off the beds. Leave some mulch and/or leaf debris around the base of the plants to keep them insulated from the snow that is sure to come over the next several weeks.

Hardscape construction can be accomplished now too. Anything from installing new edging to building decks, patios, retaining walls, fences, etc are best done now before planting season arrives.

It feels good to be active outdoors now and to know that this spring clean-up is just the prelude to the wonderful gardening season to come.

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