It is almost difficult to consider what needs to be done with your lawn, your trees, your shrubs and the rest of your landscaping when you still have 6-10″ of snow on the ground like we do here in Kansas City!! Yuck!! We’ve had enough of this winter weather, right? I remember when we first moved to Weatherby Lake in late 1985 that we started a remodeling and landscaping project on our house in January, 1986. Believe it or not, in the month of March, I swam from our dock to the main body of the lake (about 1/4 mile) and back several evenings after working on our projects! We had crocuses in early February that year as I recall and the temperature of the lake was, obviously, warm enough to make it comfortable to swim 1/2 mile!
Even though spring has not sprung yet (Don’t tell the Purple Martins about this though—-they showed up here over a month ago!!! I am sure they’re going to be sending a different team of “scouts” ahead of their journey here next year after this shocking experience!), it will not be long before we’ll need to get going on our work outside the house. So, I’ve gone to some of the most trusted sources for advice on what we need to be doing and here they are for your consumption:
Toby Tobin (all around expert on the home and landscaping in metro K.C.) – http://www.tobytobin.com/monthly_tips.php . I recommend you take time to read and view each section which is of interest to you. Also, don’t forget to tune into (I think you out-of-towners can do this online as well by going to: ) Toby’s program from 6-9 a.m. each Saturday.
Today’s Homeowner by Danny Lipford – http://www.todayshomeowner.com/march-lawn-garden-to-do-list/ . The focus here is on plants and planting for your property.
Also, for those of you who chose to not prune your trees & shrubs last fall, here is a simple guide for working on that project this spring, courtesy of Iowa State University:
When should I prune my shrubs?
Keywords: prune, shrub, shrubs
The proper time to prune deciduous and evergreen shrubs is determined by the plant’s growth habit, bloom time, and health or condition.
Spring-flowering shrubs, such as lilac and forsythia, bloom in spring on the growth of the previous season. The health or condition of the plants determines the best time to prune spring-flowering shrubs.
Neglected, overgrown spring-flowering shrubs often require extensive pruning to rejuvenate or renew the plants. The best time to rejuvenate large, overgrown shrubs is late winter or early spring (March or early April). Heavy pruning in late winter or early spring will reduce or eliminate the flower display for 2 or 3 years. However, rejuvenation pruning will restore the health of the shrub.
The best time to prune healthy, well-maintained spring-flowering shrubs is immediately after flowering. (Healthy, well-maintained shrubs should require only light to moderate pruning.) Pruning immediately after flowering allows gardeners to enjoy the spring flower display and provides adequate time for the shrubs to initiate new flower buds for next season.
Summer-flowering shrubs, such as potentilla and Japanese spirea, bloom in summer on the current year’s growth. Prune summer-flowering shrubs in late winter or early spring. The new growth produced by pruned shrubs will bloom in summer.
Some deciduous shrubs don’t produce attractive flowers. These shrubs may possess colorful bark, fruit, or foliage. Prune these shrubs in late winter or early spring before growth begins.
Prune evergreen shrubs, such as juniper and yew, in early to mid-April before new growth begins. Light pruning may also be done in mid-summer.
Late February to early April is the best time to prune fruit trees in the Upper Midwest. Summer pruning of fruit trees is generally not recommended. However, water sprouts (rapidly growing shoots that often develop just below a pruning cut) can be removed in June or July.