Here are a few tips on landscape care for this wacky season:
1. trim summer blooming shrubs back now- this would be the time to give them a major hair cut and reduce their size by about 1/3.
A: this means you can take out “old wood” by trimming far down into the plants of such as Dogwood, Viburnum, Sand Cherry, Burning Bush…(best done with a hand pruner
B: OR you can trim plants down by using hedge shears to reduce how tall/wide they are. Be sure to let bottom branches get a chance at sunlight as well, or the plant could thin out more below too. Plants like Spirea prefer being trimmed heavier to keep a compact shape in most landscapes- prevents that floppy look, you could trim it as short as 1′ tall! It also would remove all the broken branches the snow did to them…
C: DO NOT TRIM Lilac, Rhododendron, Magnolia, Forsythia and other early blooming shrubs now, unless you are okay with out seeing the blooms you’d be removing. These are best done after bloom- about June, same as with your evergreens.
2. Over seed your lawn ( if you have one)
The winter temps was really hard on a lot of things, your lawn included. Especially any areas that you may have has to shovel out for access through your yard or traffic paths. Choose a mix that is right for your sun amounts and over seed. This can be done now, but even better when the temps are a little more consistently warmer during the day ( say 50’s or so). Do this 2-3 times during the spring for best results! Remember no raking until the ground is drier and the seed is more established, this could happen between seedings, but look at the soil and the existing grass for the cue its okay.
*** if you can , avoid walking on the lawn when it is squishy- by doing so you can avoid further soil compaction and make it easier to grow your lawn.
3. Be patient with the plants, this was a hard winter. We are seeing a lot of winter burn on evergreens, and have concerns if the spring plants will bloom because their buds may have frozen during our deep freeze cycles we went through. Things may take longer, other things may not come back at all. Hold back the need to replace until we can know if it was just slow to get going, this may be well into June.