In anticipation of spring, here is a list of helpful tips for getting your garden ready for the upcoming growing season!
Classic Challenges And Opportunities of Spring Garden Clean Up
- April 1 is often too early. Watch the extended forecast to see if temperatures below 20 degrees are anticipated. If so, delay your work until closer to April 15.
- Remove debris around bulbs early to reduce the damage of late clean up and to allow full enjoyment of the blooming display. Use caution – if done too early, the cold will damage the spring blooms.
- Bundle ornamental grasses with twine, then cut back as low as possible with hedge shears. The bundling makes removal much easier on windy spring days.
- Hold off on pruning Butterflybush. Never trim in the fall. They are slow to initiate growth in the spring – it may be the middle of May. Pruning isn’t mandatory, but it will lead to a more compact plant.
- It’s a good time to cut back Blue Mist Spirea (Caryopteris), spireas, and shrub roses. If the spirea or shrub roses are spring bloomers, you may want to wait until after they bloom. Prune when enthusiasm and interest is high.
- Some shrubs and perennials are slow to start growing in the spring and are often thought to be dead. These include Hardy Hibiscus, Plumbago, Miscanthus, Butterflybush, Caryopteris, Fringetree, Oakleaf Hydrangea, Purple Beautyberry, Weigela.
- Lift and divide perennials like chrysanthemum and asters.
- If your Autumn Joy Sedum flopped last year, divide it now. If blooms are reduced, or you see dead in the center of the plant, divide now.
- Peonies are best divided in August. If you want to move them now, do so as soon as possible. Don’t plant too deep, and don’t expect a bloom this season.
- “Woody perennials” like lavender and germander should be trimmed now. Trim lightly if you have high expectations for blooms.
- Spring is the best time to fertilize perennials and shrubs. Pre-emergent herbicides can also be put down in April to reduce problems with weeds that grow from seeds.
- See if your flowering trees need any manicuring and prune now if they do. It’s easiest to see the form of the tree before it leafs out.