by Mark Wolfe
Let’s Get Moving!
Winter blues can be difficult to beat when the snow keeps coming and the mercury is nowhere to be found. However, there is something that works every time: getting outside and making things happen. Take control, there’s work to do!
In late winter there are several tasks to check off your list regardless of the weather. Get your landscape ready for spring now and have peace of mind. When spring finally arrives, you’ll be free to do the things you love without being tied to the chore list.
Snow or no snow, you can move ahead with pruning. Give young trees a balanced branch structure that makes them strong for life. Summer flowering shrubs like roses, crape myrtles, Pee Gee and Annabelle hydrangeas and others may be shaped, or even aggressively cut back to control size and increase flower production. Do not prune spring blooming shrubs at this time. (Check out the JawSaw for safe pruning)
Go ahead and empty those outdoor planters that are not in use. You can even refresh the soil so that they are ready to plant when the weather breaks. Late winter is a great time to assess your landscape for wind or cold damage, including broken branches or blow-downs that may need to be removed.
Pay close attention to the places that receive runoff from ice melting products. The build up of these chemicals, especially rock salt, in the soil can damage landscape plants. Apply gypsum to areas that are susceptible to salt damage. A few late winter or early spring waterings will minimize the damage of other chemicals.
Remove Winter Protection
Plants that have received winter protection, such as trunk wraps or burlap covers, should be uncovered prior to warm weather. In late winter, when mild weather is in the forecast for at least a few days, remove these coverings.
Apply lawn weed preventers before weed seeds can germinate. Do it when the soil is still cold at the end of winter. Any landscape beds that will not be disturbed, such as shrub and perennial beds or natural areas, may receive weed prevention treatments at this time as well. Annual flower beds that will be planted later in spring should be treated at planting time.
Don’t wait until warmer weather to get your landscape ready for spring. Pull on those thermals and take action now. Your yard will be in great shape when spring arrives and you can enjoy the great weather on your own terms.
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