Spring Into Action

MAR 14

It's not too early to get outside! Now is the ideal time to clean up any debris and damage left from "Snowmageddon," to begin fertilizing and pruning, even to start planting! So dig out your garden gloves and boots and get a jump start on spring. Here's how.

Clean Up Debris and Make Repairs

Blizzard conditions and 3' of snow can wreack havoc in the garden!

  • Repair broken trellises, lattice and fences
  • Pick up fallen branches
  • Rake up leaves, trash and other debris which are caught under shrub branches
  • Remove any dead or broken branches from trees and shrubs
  • Inspect and clean bird feeders

Fertilize Evergreens and Summer Blooming Shrubs

Use a slow-release, granular fertilizer, such as Plant-Tone (organic), Holly-Tone or 10-10-10. Sprinkle on top of the mulch, following package directions. Only fertilize summer blooming shrubs such as hydrangea and clethera now. Wait until late-April - May to fertilize spring blooming shrubs. Learn more here.

Prune and Shape Trees and Shrubs

  • Lightly shape evergreen hedges
  • Do not prune spring-blooming shrubs now or you will remove the flower buds
  • Remove any branches which cross over others and branches which grow at odds with the general shape of the rest of the plant
  • Rejuvenate deciduous shrubs by pruning out the oldest, thickest branches at the base of the plant. This will improve the plant's vigor and allow for increased light and air circulation

Start Planting

March weather can be completely unpredictable... warm and sunny one day and cold and dreary the next. This makes most people ask, "Can I plant now?" For most plants the answer is, "Absolutely!" Trees and shrubs would actually prefer some time to start getting established before the temperatures get too warm. Also, they can take advantage of the early-spring rains. For the same reasons, mid-March is also one of the best times to sow grass seed.