As spring approaches, there are a number of tasks that can be undertaken to spruce up your landscape. Here are some tips about things that can be done to make things look a bit nicer and prepare the way for summer planting and outdoor activities.
Once the snow is gone, you probably notice that your flower beds attracted leaves and other debris. Remove any trash that may have blown in and dispose of it per your city’s bylaws. Leaves are a different story. If you have a leaf blower, you can reverse the process and suck those leaves out of the beds and deposit them into a bag attachment. This is good to add to your compost pile or to mix with any new soil you are adding to provide organic matter that will decompose and add nutrients to the ground.
As perennials die back in the fall, there are remnants of the foliage. Many people leave this through the winter as some protection for the roots of the plants and as a haven for insects or other critters that contribute to the environment. Spring is the time to remove this old growth and make way for the new sprouts to rise.
Trees can be easily pruned and shaped during the last days of winter before the leaf buds appear. You will have a clearer picture of which branches are crowding, rubbing against, or crossing others and should be removed. Also remove any branches that are damaged usually from storms. By pruning now the cuts will have time to heal before insects are out and looking for a place to infiltrate. Just be sure to cut no more than 20% of the tree so that it still has a good system in place for the summer.
Fruit trees are slightly different. Remove any broken, damaged or diseased branches. Take out suckers. These are branches that grow straight up and usually form on the trunk or major branches. Remove any branches that will interfere with harvest. Thin interior branches.
Always cut back to another branch or the trunk. Do not leave a stub.
Shrubbery and roses also need some attention. If the underlayer of branches is brown, that is a good sign of damage. Dead and damaged canes should be removed. Again, be cautious about over pruning.
Probably no gardener relishes the idea of weeding, yet it is necessary. Removing the weeds means less competition for food and water during the growing season.
While fertilizing in the fall is the preference, if you missed that opportunity, now is a good time to apply nitrogen to the turf. Always follow the package instructions about the amount to use; call the manufacturer if you have questions. Be sure to gently water it in.
If you are planning to seed, you may need to consider using a verticut machine or core aerator to give the turf seed a place to nestle and germinate. Gentle and light watering twice daily is recommended.
Each of these tasks will help prepare your landscape for the coming growing season. Don’t think you need to complete everything in a single day. Prepare a schedule that includes time for rest and reflection.
If you need help planning out your landscape or garden, please don’t hesitate to contact Quiet Nature today. We’d love to help.