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Tag Archives: pruning shrubs in spring

Don’ts For Spring Cleanup

Horticultural Services, proper pruning, Lehigh Valley, PA., Allentown, PA., Bethlehem, PA.  Spring cleanup
Keeping up with pruning is important so that your landscape doesn’t get out of control like this one!
Last week I listed things you should do in your landscape for spring cleanup. This blog is about things to not do or not do too early.

Do not cut back roses, buddlia (butterfly bush), caryopteris until the weather is warmer. Late spring frosts can kill the plants if cut back too early.

Do not cut clematis back in the spring except for the fall blooming paniculata because you will be cutting off the blooms. Wait until it finishes its bloom before pruning.

Do not prune any spring or early summer blooming plant until after it blooms unless you do not care about forgoing the flower for that season.

Do not shear any plant that you want to keep in its natural growing shape. Shearing ruins the form of most plants that are pruned that way. The correct way to reduce the size of ta plant is to cut one third of the plant way down into the wood of it. That will take a few years to grow back out. Each year you should cut one thhird or so of the plant; that way you will be keeping it at the size you desire without ruining the look of it.

Do not use dyed mulch (even though the color holds up better) if you care about adding dyes to our water table and if you don’t want to have unnecessary wood born insects, such as termites, on your property. Dyed mulch is not aged naturally so it doesn’t heat up to destroy these insects before being laid on your property.

If you need professional pruning or are not sure what to prune and when, call us to help you.

Things To Do For Spring Cleanup

Spring cleanup, landscape design, Lehigh Valley, PA, Allentown, PA, Bethlehem, PA, Outdoor living rooms
Ready for a spring cleanup!
It’s time to start thinking about cleaning up your property for spring. This post is about the things you should do in the spring. My next post will be about things your shouldn’t do!

Do cut all perennials back to just above ground level, including the evergreen ones, because the foliage that has been through the winter will soon look very tattered. Exceptions would be Iberis (Candytuft), which gets cut back after its spring bloom along with Helleborus (Lenten Rose) and Euphorbia Robbie. Some plants, such as Hemerocallis (daylilies), Hosta, and plants without much branch structure, just need to be cleaned up if not removed in the fall. Never cut Lavendula (lavender) the whole way back; just reshape it in the spring.

Do cut fall blooming Clematis paniculata (Sweet Autumn Clematis) back to at least one third of its growth.
Do cut all ornamental grass back in the spring so it can regrow again. Some grass that heavily seeds should be cut back in the fall, such as Chasmanthium (Sea oats), so you don’t have the plant everywhere you don’t want it.

Do check for scale on any plants from last season. If detected, use a dormant oil spray while it is still cool and before the leaf break to control the spread of the scale.

Do try the new Hyddrangea macrophylla “Endless Summer” which blooms on new and old wood if you don’t already have them. It is definitely worth digging up all those purple and blue ball hjydrangeas that are old in order to get the continuous full-flooming ones on the market today. They are wonderful!

Do fertilize your acid-loving plants with an acid-loving fertilizer such as Hollytone because we do not have acid soil in the Lehigh Valley. This will help them have dark green foliage. If the foliage is still yellowish in color, an acidifier such as sulphur or aluminum sullphate scratched into the soil is better. This slowly helps the plant as the water takes it down into the soil over a year or so.

Do keep mulch on your beds to prevent weeds from germinating freely and to keep moisture in during dry periods.

We can help! If you find that you would like to have experts do some or all of these kinds of tasks using our knowledge on your property, please call us.

What do I do for Spring Cleanup?

It’s always nijce to get outside on a lovely spring day. First thing to do is to cut back all the perennials and ornamental grass that needs to be cut so everything is neat and tidy. Of course the dead leaves need to be picked up unless you are in the middle of the woods. Fertilizing your plants, especially if they are only a couple of years old is important. Use fertilizer with an acidifier or buy an acidifier to be added to the acid loving plants like the azaleas, rhododendrons, and hollies. Check out our website to see what things should be done when during the year. If you haven’t mulched in two years and your mulch has broken down, it is time to remulch with a 100% hardwood bark mulch that is naturally aged. Colored mulches are adding dyes to our water table we all drink. The wood used is from pallets of spilled chemicals, tree roots and stumps, throw away wood that has not been decomposed to kill all diseases in the wood. Edging can be done by hand or with a machine for deeper cuts to the edge. Hand pruning should be done before the new growth grows if you are doing any rejuvinating of older shrubs so they will look better after hard pruning. Some people use pre-emergent herbicide that is spread on top of the ground to keep weed seeds from germinating. This is a personal preference. All landscapes will have some weeds but mulching will help a lot in keeping the moisture in the soil and the weeds from taking over your landscape.