As the transition from winter into spring begins, we look forward to seeing all the many plants in their beautiful display of color. The dreariness of winter lets us forget there are many things we can do now in our gardens in preparation to enjoy all spring has to offer. A late winter/early spring garden clean-up is the best way to get things back into shape before spring actually arrives.
CLEAN: Start with removing all leftover garden debris including left-behind leaves from last fall’s leaf drop and limbs from winter storms. Leaves tend to get pushed or blown into the centers of most plants in the fall and winter months and should always be removed so that the plant can breathe. This leaf accumulation can also contribute to the over-wintering of pesky insects. After all the debris is gone, it’s a great time to go ahead and fertilize and do some weeding.
PRUNE: Once you have cleaned out the planting beds, it’s time to move on to pruning. Typically, this is the time of year for more severe pruning resulting in renewal of plants that have outgrown their space. A lot of Hollies and evergreen shrubs can be selectively or deep-pruned to promote a natural appearance and allow for growth from within which makes for a healthier plant. Plants such as crape myrtles, roses, butterfly bush, and Vitex can be pruned back as well. All perennials should also be cut back by now.
THINK: Now is the time to recall which plants struggled or thrived in your garden last year. Whether it is the loss of a large tree or the canopy of trees growing larger, gardens are always changing. With a little thought and effort, most plants can be relocated to another spot where they will thrive and flourish. This will give the appearance of a new garden without the cost of buying new plants.
MULCH: After you have cleaned all garden debris, pruned your plants, and transplanted any unhappy campers, it’s time for the “icing on the cake”, mulch. Mulch instantly refreshes any landscape and comes in many different colors and textures making your garden unique and beautiful. Aside from the aesthetic purposes, mulch has many benefits including our top two favorites: 1) helps the soil retain moisture for the plants, and 2) acts as a barrier to weeds.
No better time to get started than now so pull on your gloves, grab your hoes and shovels and make use of these late winter days preparing your garden for spring.
As always, our Maintenance Department at Habersham Gardens will be happy to lend a helping hand and make your yard the beauty of the block. If you have questions or we may be of assistance, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.