March 2018 Maintenace Tips

MARCH – 8 Steps to Jump Start Your Landscape


  1. Assess: the winter damage and spring needs. Look for shrub winter dieback that will need pruning. Make a wish list of replacement and additional plants.
  2. Replant: any perennials that have heaved out of the ground during the winter months.
  3. Clean-up: debris, leaves, etc. that is piled up in areas around bulbs and perennials. Try to do this on a cloudy day so that tender, pale growth is not burned.
  4. Rake: lawn areas, removing leaves, twigs, debris and matted grass.
  5. Cut back: ornamental grasses and other perennials that were left up for winter interest before new growth begins. Hints: Tie up large bunches of ornamental grass before cutting them to make it easier and more time efficient! Cut back leaving 2-4” of the base. Electric hedge shears work well for cutting large ornamental grasses…burning is dangerous!
  6. Weed: It’s very easy to pull weeds when the ground is wet in the early spring.
  7. Prune:
  • 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.
  1. 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 inch above a healthy bud. Choose a bud that’s angled away from center of the plant to help avoid crossing, crowded branches.
  2. 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, stems can be cut down to live tissue or 3-4” above the ground.
  3. Beautyberry may be cut back to approximately 6-8 inches tall.
  4. Most Spireas can be cut back to a few inches. (Bridal Wreath is an exception to this rule.)
  5. 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.
  6. Plants that are prized for their fruit (Viburnum, Crabapple, Hawthorn) should be pruned after the fruit drops.
  7. Prune Oaks and Elms while dormant-November thru March

Shop at Niemeyer’s: Check out our pruning tools (Felco Pruners & Zenport Snips) and pick up a new pair of gardening gloves. We use all the products we sell. Make your shopping list for bulk materials and colorful plant additions