The sun is shining, birds are singing and it’s time for your garden to come back from the winter weather (although Mother Nature may have some others plans for us this coming week).
Here are the 5 top things you can do to get your gardens ready for the spring:
Remove all leaves and visible weeds.
Cut back all ornamental grasses, including liriope, and the dead stems of perennials. Leaving this foliage intact over the winter is healthier for the plant but now it needs to be cut back to a few inches high.
Loosen/cultivate the mulch covering the ground around your plants and shrubs.
Apply new mulch. Applying 1-2" of mulch is one of the most important things you can do for your garden every year. It prevents weeds, regulates soil temperatures and helps retain moisture. As it decomposes, it is carried underground by worms and other insects, improving soil structure. Better soil structure means better drainage and more available nutrients. Compost is great for improving soil but is not as effective at helping control weeds. Natural root mulch helps prevent weeds but contains less nutrients than compost.
Prune trees and shrubs. Because most plants are still dormant, it is safer to prune now. Avoid pruning spring flowering shrubs and shrubs that bloom on old growth, as you may remove future blossoms. Forsythia, rhododendrons, azaleas, lilacs, and some hydrangeas (macrophylla) all bloom on last season's growth. If you're not sure when/how to prune a certain, let us know and we'll be glad to help!