Now it’s time to finish up with your Pruning & Grooming! After consulting my library, I’ve identified ninety-three little things that will lead to the easiest and best preparation for a beautiful and green year for you and your yard. I’ve divided them into six categories for you:
If you’d like more information, I’ve added links to as many of the plant names and terms as I could, so that should help. I also want to thank the authors of the following books which helped me put these items together:
Month by Month Gardening in Georgia by Walter Reeves & Erica Glasener
Taylor’s Guide to Gardening in the South edited by Rita Buchanan and Roger Holmes
Backyard Secrets of Garden Experts by Leslie Garisto
Ready? Let’s get finished!
81. It’s time to remove faded flowers from your pansies.
82. Remove faded blooms from flowering bulbs, but leave the foliage to further ripen the bulb for next year.
83. Peach and Plum trees can be pruned when you are reasonably sure severe cold will not come again. When pruning, remove dead limbs or branch stubs to their stem collar, and not flush with the tree trunk. The wound will close faster with less chance of decay. Also, remove limbs that cross through the center or droop too low. You want to keep the center of the tree open.
84. When pruning your Bunch Grapes, leave only 4 healthy canes from last year’s growth. The new growth of these will produce the fruit. Examine the canes and note the swollen buds that occur along each one. Count the buds outward from the trunk to the 12th bud, then clip the cane there. (To recap, you end up with 48 buds half going left and half going right)
85. Now’s the time to finish pruning out dead canes of Blackberry and Raspberry. Tie the green healthy canes to a wire trellis.
86. Pruning of your Figs should be before the 15th (“OK, Figs. Beware the ides of March!”)
87. It’s time to have your mower blade sharpened now.
88. The dormant grass can be cut low (scalped) to speed germination. Set your mower just low enough to remove the top of the brown foliage.
89. Cut back your Ornamental Grasses to a height of about 6 to 12 inches just before are just as new growth is beginning in early spring.
90. If you have evergreen ornamental grass is such as carex, pull out the dead brown sections. New growth will fill in within a few weeks.
91. Clean up any remaining leaf clutter, dead stalks, or seedpods from the previous season. Now is the time to cut back perennials, before new growth begins.
92. Perennials like Artemisia can get large and overgrown in one season; it is best to cut them back now, at the beginning of the growing season, rather than in the fall.
93. Tree Roses have been pruned and are trained and grafted to grow into a single straight stem topped by a tight fit of leaves and blooms (the Standard). To keep the head compact, prune it back by half, leaving as many forks in short branches as possible. After pruning, tie the standard to its support structure if one is present.