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What is a Spring Clean-up?

Posted by on May 8th 2017 in

Pussy Willow Stems in Spring Planter

Clean up your garden and get ready to start growing! The purpose of a spring clean-up is to prepare the garden for the upcoming growing season. Use our spring clean-up checklist to make sure your garden is healthy, maintained, and in the best shape for the spring and summer months to come.

  1. Cut back any perennials that were not cut back in the fall. Perennials should be cut back to the ground, unless the plant’s crown is above the ground (like lady’s mantle and heuchera). Flowering perennials should be pruned to a height of 4-5 inches and ornamental grasses should be 2-3 inches (allows for new growth).
  2. If the soil is thawed, dig out and divide the perennials that should be divided in the spring. Transplant the divided plants to fill in sparse areas.
  3. Cut back damaged rose canes to 1 inch below the blackened area.
  4. Remove protective coverings, like burlap, from trees and shrubs.  
  5. Prune off any dead limbs from trees and shrubs.  Use a hand saw or shears to prune back to live stems and remove tree or shrub branches that have been damaged by cold, wind, and snow. You can also trim overgrown evergreens to control their direction.
  6. Prune with care. Keep an eye out for cocoons and chrysalises in order to help save the butterflies that were attracted to your garden. Allow any branches with these to stay where they are, and cut them later in the season if needed.
  7. Pull up old annuals left in the ground.
  8. Rake out dead foliage and clear out any leaves remaining in the beds from the previous fall.
  9. Compost your collected leaves, cuttings, old foliage, and the previous season’s mulch.
  10. Keep an eye out for heaved plants; firmly press them back into the ground or use a shovel to replant them.

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