We all know how busy life can become and how easily it is to just pop in and out of our homes without taking time to look at spring. It is time to stop pruning your trees until next winter. Why? Because even though it looks like nothing is happening, there is a lot happening within the trees. The sap is moving up the tree and if a branch is trimmed the nutrient within the sap is lost. The sweetness of the sap can also attract insects and disease.
Everything looks pretty dreary and dead right now, but in just a few short weeks it will all have a green fresh tint. Take the time to look at the trees in your yard to see what's happening.
River Birch buds up close
Silver maple - take the time to look up
Viburnum buds up close
Viburnum bushes - from a distance it seems there is nothing going on. But, once again, these are bushes and can be trimmed when time allows. However, I would also wait until they have leafed out and aren't putting so much energy into spring growth.
As days shorten in the fall and temperatures gradually cool, leaves stop producing chlorophyll and the pigments that give maples their bright red fall foliage become exposed. At the same time, the branches start to form "abscission" cells that push off the dying leaves (aided by wind) and seal the little openings where the stems attach.
A sudden cold snap can short-circuit that process. Not only does the leaf color go directly from green to brown, the leaves stay attached because abscission tissue hadn't sufficiently developed.
We believe this is what happened with our Japanese Maple last fall. We had quite an early cold snap in October. This picture was taken two days ago with the leaves still in tact. We will simply wait and watch and hope the tree survives and new spring growth will push the dead leaves off of the tree.
If you have a tree like this in your yard, just allow nature to run its course. We will be keeping a close watch on our two year old tree this spring to make sure all is well.
Spring is here and with the new growing season comes groundskeeping. Hopefully, your gardens were mostly cleaned out in the fall. But even if they weren't, there are still things required in the spring. People often comment on their desire for maintenance free landscaping. There really is no such thing. Even with just a turfgrass landscape, there is maintenance. But having a schedule and knowing what to do will make groundskeeping and maintenance of your yard easier whether you choose simple turf or lush garden beds. This blog post is for those who may just be starting out and are not sure what to do with their landscape. Here are four simple steps for spring groundskeeping.
The picture on the left is of coral bells. Coral bells are a perennial meaning they come back year after year. In colder winters, they do best if the leaves are left on the plant. They might also enjoy some straw through the winter. In the spring, the leaves need to be pruned back. There are many varieties of coral bells to choose from and they are relatively easy to grow.
The picture on the right is a hosta from the last growing season. It is also a shade loving perennial. It should be cleaned up at the end of the growing season so it is ready grow at the first sign of warm temps in the spring. But, often life gets busy and clean up gets missed. If this is the case in your yard, no worries. At this point you might not even need pruning shears. A good raking should pull them out easily and also catch any waste left behind by stray animals.
Some homeowners prefer mulch or rock over fabric. These can also look nice. But they do come with their share of problems. Debris is very difficult to clean out of mulch or rock. While fabric and mulch might keep weeds at bay, depending on where you live, they might encourage critters like mice to nest. And with mice come predators like snakes. So be aware of your habitat and choose wisely.
These new garden beds show the difference in color of soil and compost.
New hosta transplants surrounded by compost
We often get calls from new homeowners who have purchased a home with established garden beds, but don't know what they have growing. If this is your case, clean up the beds and see what grows. Or, give us a call so we can help you identify your plants and problem areas. It will take one full growing season to see what your yard has established.
We also sell Biosol out of our office!
The Top 3 Benefits of Outdoor Lighting
When planning to build an outdoor living space there are many elements to consider. Size, shape, incorporating fire, water or both, and plantings are the most common elements a homeowner considers. Landscape lighting is most often the forgotten element.
Here are 3 key reasons why lighting should be included in an outdoor living space design:
Keeping your home secure from trespassers is another benefit of lighting. A well lit house is an uninviting target for unwanted persons on a property.
Landscape lighting is an essential element to an outdoor space. When planning a project, be sure to include lighting in your thought process to ensure maximum satisfaction.
And don't forget...lighting is proper for a flagpole. We can help with that, too!
Creating beautiful outdoor spaces with passion, honesty, and integrity.