Winter is slowly coming to an end, so now is the time to start cleaning up your garden and yard and preparing them for warmer weather. Here are some tips from Director of Horticulture Les Lutz:
- If snow and ice are a problem, use potassium- or calcium-based de-icing products on walks and roads rather than sodium-based products. Consider using sand on slippery surfaces instead of ice-melting products. Always shovel snow before applying.
- Order seeds and summer bulbs for planting when the weather cooperates.
- During periods of winter/spring thaw, water evergreens, broadleaved evergreens and conifers, if needed.
- As the weather begins to warm, use water to wash salt from trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants, including turf.
- Check plants for signs of damage from weather or animals. As weather warms up, prune dead or damaged areas from plants.
- Now is a great time to cut branches from Crabapples, Forsythia and other spring flowering woody plants. Bring them in the house to force them into bloom. Other plants that are good to force into bloom this month are serviceberry (Amelanchier), magnolia (Magnolia), flowering quince (Chaenomeles), flowering pear (Pyrus), flowering cherry (Prunus), honeysuckle (Lonicera), spring-flowering witch hazel (Hamamelis vernalis), and redbud (Cercis).
- As the weather warms and the snow eventually melts, begin the clean-up of your garden and yard.
- In late-March, remove the burlap protection from your hydrangeas and other tender plants. If you used straw bales to protect plants, late March is the time to remove this as well.
- Roses can be pruned when the Forsythia has begun flowering. When pruning roses, make a 45º cut above a healthy bud, angled away from the center of the plant. Hybrid tea roses and grandiflora roses can be cut back to 12″ to reinvigorate growth. Remove dried, darkened, and broken canes, along with any dead tips. Prune shrub roses to remove dead wood and very lightly to shape to size.
Check out Heritage’s Bloom Calendar to see when your favorite flowers, trees and plants are in bloom.