You need to spring into action now that spring is weeks away. This is the time to work in your garden beds before all of your plants spring into growth mode. It is much easier to work in your beds when the perennials aren’t in full bloom. Yes, we are in the South so you may already have some early bloomers. Just remember to be careful while moving around in your flower beds.
Before you begin your work, you’ll want to have the right tools. Every gardener should have a good pair of pruning shears. These are hand-held and can cut branches and twigs up to ¾ of an inch thick. For branches up to 2 1/2″ thick, you will want to use a lopper. Branches from about 1 ½ to 5 inches in diameter can be pruned using a pruning saw. For hedges and evergreens close to the ground, a good set of hedge shears will work while those branches up high can be trimmed back using a pole pruner. Using these tools will not only help make your landscape look better but the pruning will actually improve the health of your plants.
Once you have your tools cleaned and sharpened, you will be ready to prune some of your shrubs. (NOTE: I said some…please don’t go hacking away at your azaleas or you’ll regret it. They may look really bad and then bloom to life. NEVER prune azaleas until after they have flowered.) Now, look for winter damage. Any broken, bent, or twisted branches should be pruned regardless of the plant type. Just make sure that you cut these branches, not tear or break them, so that they can heal quickly. Also, spring is an ideal time to “thin out” your day lilies, hostas and ornamental grasses.
Enjoy the nice weather and happy pruning!