Maintenance Through The Months
Mid-March is when we venture out on good days to begin dormant pruning. Dormant pruning involves shaping small trees and shrubs from the inside out. We need to be able to see the structure of a plant in order to provide good shaping and to address concerns such as crossing branches before they become a problem.
Cleanup time is upon us! We remove all the debris that collects over winter, trim old growth on plants, pull weeds and turn the soil and fertilize. Over winter, soil becomes compacted and needs to be aerated in order to absorb nutrients which will otherwise run right off the surface. We plant pansies and primroses in containers that are ready for color.
This month is a mixed bag. Usually the ground has warmed enough to allow soil amendment and mulching. The beginning of the month is when we install new gardens; planting trees, shrubs and perennials. Mid-month leads into planting annuals; starting first with container planting if it has been a cool, wet spring but leading quickly to annual plantings in the ground.
Everything happens in June. We are still planting annuals, still doing installations, the weeds are growing like mad, the plants are growing like mad! We are grateful for the longer days of sunshine!
Maintenance becomes more manageable; simple weeding and trimming. We begin the next phase of pruning; trimming from the outside of the shrub and allowing sunlight to reach into the plant and nourish. We catch up on a few little things and are happy for a steady but slower pace. We work on designs and ideas for fall projects.
This is a quiet month; maintenance takes a fraction of the time. The plants have begun to show the stress of the season, the growth is slow or even dying back in most. This is a nice time to begin fall projects; renovations and planting new beds. Containers are refreshed with fall plantings.
Fall cleanup already- it always seems to arrive so quickly! We cut back the appropriate herbaceous material, add soil amendments where necessary and otherwise prepare for the first frost. Prominent containers are arranged for fall harvest displays or planted with evergreens for winter.
Early in the month before the soil freezes, we arrange prominent containers for winter; adding a medley of fresh greens for the holiday season, a red bow where appropriate, a smattering of white lights if desired.
Hibernation & Gardener battery recharge.