Every time we talk about improving a landscape people request a low maintenance planting. Really people are asking for no maintenance plants, but the patent is still pending on those! We get it, life is busy and the last thing you want to do is create more work for yourself. Since there is no such thing as a maintenance free plant, we’ll have to continue doing what is necessary for our landscapes to thrive. Early spring is a crucial time to get out in the garden. This is typically our quickest visit to our client’s yards, but it sets the course for the rest of the year.
Late February and March is the time to get out there and prune back your Summer flowering plants prior to the bloom set. This allows for the plant size to be controlled without missing out on the blooms. This plant list includes your Roses, many of your Hydrangeas, Beautyberry among others. If you don’t do this now, you’re either going to have much larger plants or you’re going to sacrifice your blooms in order to keep them in check.
It is also the time that the Boxwoods need to be treated for Psyllid and Leaf Miner. The Boxwoods are treated now with a soil drench so that the systemic has made its way through the plant prior to the bloom cycle. If this is done later in the season you can kill any pollinators who try to feed on the Boxwoods.
In our opinion, the most important thing you can do for your garden and sanity this time of year is to get down your pre-emergent. Pre-emergent acts as a soil sterilizer. This helps prevent germination of new weeds in your garden. This is beneficial for several reasons. First, nobody wants weeds in their garden. Second, if you have fewer weeds that means less competition for your landscape plants. Third, once you get weeds, they can be difficult to eradicate and once your weeds go through a bloom cycle you’ve just allowed them to propagate your problem.
Doing landscape maintenance is kind of like going to the gym. If you only do it once a year it is really going to be a challenge and is pretty much a losing battle. If you do a little bit at a time throughout the entire course of the year you’ll be in better shape and have better results.