Phil may be a little off his game this year. Being 70˚ in February really got me inspired! This past weekend I rallied the family and we went full force on outdoor rejuvenation. We touched on everything from flowerbed cleanup to refinishing the deck. After about four hours, two pizzas, a large pitcher of sweet tea, and Toby Keith on the radio, we finally got things shaped up for Spring.
Now, if you are feeling inspired, I've listed some pre-spring prep reminders below to get you started.
Are your Knockouts blocking out the rest of your garden? This may be the last chance to prune back your Knockout Roses. Take them back few inches for a fuller look this summer. If you're working with a tight space don't be afraid to take them down to waist height. These guys will come back just as strong! Just make sure your plants do not have buds already, if so you may have missed the running window.
Do not prune any shrubs with a spring bloom, such as Azaleas. These plants are working hard to produce those gorgeous blossoms and can be susceptible to damage caused by stress from pruning.
Cut back all your perennials and ornamental grasses so that they will bounce back twice as big this summer. Cut perennials about 2" above the ground. For grasses the general rule is to take the plant down to 20% of the maximum height.
Now is also a good time to divide your fall blooming perennials and transplant around the yard. This will allow plenty of time for growth and your garden will look strong come late summer.
Remove any extra mulch around the base of plants. Spring is the wettest time of year and excess mulch will cause molding and lead to root rot.
I also like to give the lawn a good raking at the start of the season. This will remove leftover winter debris such as pine needles, leaves, and sticks. Starting with a clean slate will provide optimal conditions for maximum grass root production.
These warm temps have caused my grass to sprout a few extra inches this winter. The first cut I usually bag clipping to remove what slipped through the rake. By the second cut, consider redepositing clipping back into the lawn to add nutrients to your soil. Aerating the lawn will help decomposition of the clipping as well as assist with water movement and fertilization.
I am so ready for warm days and cool nights. These simple tasks will give you a head start on conquering spring and maintaining that luscious garden. Let me know how it all turns out!