2020 March Maintenance Tips

March Mission….Map Out Your Landscape Projects (Clean-up) 3, 2, 1 blast off!

  • “Walk about” the yard and garden. Assess the winter damage and spring needs. Prioritize and make your “to do” list.
  • Replant any perennials that have heaved out of the ground during the winter months.
  • Clean-up debris, leaves, etc. that is piled up in areas around bulbs and perennials. Tryto do this on a cloudy day so that tender, pale growth is not burned.
  • Rake lawn areas, removing leaves, twigs, debris and matted grass.
  • Cut back ornamental grasses and other perennials that were left up for winter interestbefore new growth begins. Hints: Tie up large bunches of ornamental grass beforecutting them to make it easier and more time efficient! Electric hedge shears work wellfor cutting large ornamental grasses.

March Pruning Tips:

  • Fruit trees should be pruned while dormant.
  • Spring blooming plants (Forsythia, Rhododendron, Weigela, and Lilac) should be pruned immediately AFTER flowering.
  • Summer flowering shrubs should be pruned before they leaf out. 
  • Panicle Hydrangeas (Limelight, Quick Fire, Little Lime, Vanilla Strawberry, Strawberry Sundae, Bobo, etc.) can be cut back by one third to one half. For best results, make a 45 degree cut approximately ¼ inchabove a healthy bud. Choose a bud that’s angled away from center of the plant to help avoid crossing, crowded branches.
  •  Bigleaf (macrophylla) Hydrangeas (Bloomstruck, Endless Summer, Twist & Shout, Blushing Bride, etc.) depend on twig dieback. If there is no dieback, just prune out dead or lightly prune to shape. If there is a lot of twig dieback, stem can be cut down to live tissue or 4-5”.
  • Beautyberry may be cut back to approximately 6-10 inches tall.
  • Most Spireas can be cut back to a few inches. (Bridal Wreath is an exception to this rule.)
  • Shrub Roses (Double Knockout, Knockout, Drift, Easy Elegance, etc.) should be pruned when the Forsythia blooms. For best results, make a 45 degree cut above a healthy (green) bud, angled away from center of plant. Newly planted roses can be cut back to 6-10” while established larger plants can be cut by on half to two thirds.
  • Plants that are prized for their fruit (Viburnum, Crabapple, Hawthorn) should be prunedafter the fruit drops.
  • Avoid pruning Oaks and Elms from Mid-April through Mid-July.

Check out our quality, pruning tools (Felco & Snips) that are staff tested and approved!