It’s March now, this weekend Daylight Savings time returns, and we are only a few weeks away from the equinox – which means that spring is in the air. It might be very, very faint yet, but spring is coming, and it’s not too far away. Are you ready to take on those early spring landscaping tasks? There may still be snow on the ground, but enthusiastic gardeners can get a jump on some of the work they’ll need to do to get their yards looking great again.
Before the snow melts, prune your fruit trees and grapevines. Do not wait until they bud, or your fruit crop will suffer this year. It’s a good time to prune rose bushes and any dead foliage off of trees and shrubs. Other spring bushes that can be pruned at this time include forsythias, azaleas, and dogwoods. Wait to trim flowering spring bushes and trees that already have buds. They will open as soon as the better weather arrives, and it would be a shame to miss any of their beauty.
This is also the time to thin trees that have had any history of leaf spot diseases. When the last of the bitter winds of winter have subsided, you can remove the burlap covers you put on your more exposed trees and shrubs last fall. Spring is a wet season, and in warmer weather, it’s better for those plants to have air and sunlight. If any of your trees have experienced aphid or spider mite infestations, now is the time to apply horticultural oil. This will reduce the need for pesticide application later in the year.
Early spring is also the time to apply ground lime such as Dolomite to beds that have a pH below 6.2. Put this down as soon as the snow is gone, and cover the beds with plastic so that the lime is not washed away in the spring rains. Mulch any spots that winter bared as well. This will keep the weeds down and stop more from germinating. If you do see leftover weeds from last fall, now would be a great time to pull them. The damp earth will release their roots much more easily. Pull or trim any dead perennial or ornamental grass foliage as well. Don’t worry about bare spots – these will fill out as soon as the ground warms up.
Finally, in these last quiet days of winter, it would be a great idea to examine your gardening tools and see what needs to be repaired, sharpened, or replaced. That way everything will be at hand when the gardening bug hits you again, and you will be ready to dig in. Literally.
PROCARE offers full landscaping and lawn care maintenance services. We’d be happy to take the work and worry out of spring lawn care for you. If you have questions about lawn care, contact Dirk at PROCARE today.