Cutting Back and Pruning grasses, perennials, shrubs
Cut back or Prune by mid-March:
- Ornamental Grasses
- Roses – Hybrid Tea Roses to 6-8″ tall, Knockout Roses to 12″ tall
- Hydrangeas – Mop-head and Endless Summer types to 12″ tall
- Summer-flowering shrubs – Rose-of-Sharon, Butterfly Bush, Dwarf Spirea, Abelia
Hold off on pruning crape myrtle until at least mid-April. Sudden cold blasts could kill crape myrtle if pruned this early. Wait to see what comes out this spring. After a hard winter, they may die back to the ground. But don’t give up…they may sprout from the roots as late as mid-May.
Uncover perennials and roses
All perennials, roses, mums, and strawberries should be uncovered by March 15, as long as temperatures are staying above 15 degrees.
By uncovering this early allows the stems and buds a chance to adapt to sunlight and current air temperatures before they start to grow. Leaving plants covered too long will cause stems and leaves to be soft, possibly stretching, and the plants will then be more susceptible to disease and damage from late freezes. Uncovering too early may cause freeze damage to the growing tips and root systems.
If temperatures are predicted to fall below 15 degrees after uncovering in early March, be prepared to temporarily cover these plants again with mulch, leaves, sheets, or burlap until the cold snap is past.
Crabgrass Preventer and other Pre-Emergent Herbicides can be applied
Controlling weeds in the garden and lawn:
Any type of pre-emergent herbicide, including Crabgrass preventer, should be applied around mid-March (Crabgrass preventer as late as mid-April) to control weeds that will be trying to come up this spring.
Ask about Corn Gluten for flower beds and especially for the lawn a known organic control for annual weeds, including crabgrass.
Don’t care about organic products? We also carry Preen for the garden and Fertilome Lawn Food plus Crabgrass Weed Control for the lawn.
Fertilize shrubs, perennials, and lawns
When is the best time to fertilize in the spring?
Trees – February or March, or at least before they leaf out. We carry spikes and granular fertilizers. If trees have been in the ground longer than 5 years, they probably don’t need to be fertilized.
Shrubs – March or April. If pruning, that is a good time to fertilize.
Perennials – March or April as you see them starting to pop up out of the ground.
Lawn – a light application in March or April is all that lawns need. If applying Fertilome Weed-Out, this contains enough fertilizer until early June. If using Milorganite, it is best applied in March and September.
The best fertilizer to use is something containing organic matter such Blue Bird Compost or Milorganite. Other organic fertilizers, such as Fish Emulsion, Bone Meal, Blood Meal, or Espoma, can be used with Cotton Burr Compost as a soil amendment or mulch. Organic fertilizers release their nutrition slowly. Follow the package directions.
We also carry slow-release fertilizers (Osmocote) and conventional fertilizers for any of the applications listed above. We can help you pick out the best fertilizer for your needs.
Apply dormant sprays
Dormant Oil will need to be applied in February or March on fruit trees, small fruits and roses to control overwintering insects.