Thanksgiving is just days away which means Christmas is right around the corner. While many of us are out shopping to put presents under the tree, we mustn’t forget to treat our gardens for the holiday season! Here are a few tips from our family to yours:
PRUNING AND TRIMMING:
It is an excellent time to prune trees and shrubs to remove any unwanted or unhealthy growth in order to maintain an attractive growth habit. Pruning in the winter, or dormant season, is the most common practice for many homeowners – the result is a vigorous burst of new growth in the spring!
• Remove browned stubble from perennial and annual flower gardens and the vegetable garden.
• Use a long-handled tree pruner to remove mistletoe from trees. Although mistletoe is somewhat of a staple for the holiday season, it actually absorbs water and nutrients from the host plant which stifles future growth. There is no effective consumer spray to rid of mistletoe. Its white berries are the means of spreading, so eliminate the plants and their berries before birds can carry them to other branches.
• Prune tree roots that threaten to extend beneath your foundation, driveway, patio or walkways. Make a clean cut near the concrete surface and install a root barrier vinyl fabric to stop further growth.
• Shade trees can be pruned any time now, but remember never to “top” any tree for any purpose. “Topping” is the practice of removing the whole tops of trees and large branches from the tree or large bushes. That includes crape myrtles. There is no satisfactory reason ever to top a crape myrtle since it lessens their blooming and ruins their natural form.
• Fruit trees and grape vines can be pruned once they’re completely dormant, but January is a better time.
Now is a great time to begin prepping your flower gardens for the next spring season and to add seasonal color to your beds for the time being.
• Continue changing out tired or dead annual color in beds and containers if you haven’t already done so.
• Plant cool-season annuals such as pansies, snapdragons, dianthus, dusty miller, and ornamental kale.
• Don’t forget to continue fertilizing annuals regularly.
• Established trees and shrubs that need to be relocated can be transplanted after they’ve
been exposed to one hard freeze. Hold soil balls intact around their roots to lessen the shock of transplanting.
The colder temperatures, unfortunately, do not hinder the growth of pesky weeds in our lawn and gardens. Be on the lookout for broad-leaf weeds, including dandelions and clover. These weeds can be eliminated with a broad-leafed weed killer spray in the next few weeks, bit 70o daytime temperatures without rain for 48 hours will be necessary.
Make sure you apply a fresh application of mulch to your flower beds, trees and shrubs. This will keep your plants and their root systems insulated during the colder temperatures and help retain the needed moisture to service the winter season.
Perhaps one reason so few people garden during the fall is that they’re saving their energy for the big leaf clean-up. It’s a laborious job that’s guaranteed to cause a few blisters and possibly even a few neighborhood contests to see who can wait the longest to leaf clean their lawn. At this time of year, our maintenance crews often find yards that require leaf clean-up prior to mowing your yard to make sure the end results are to your expectations. We will charge extra for the time spent removing leaves, but we will always work expeditiously to keep this to a minimum and hope you understand. Along with leaf clean-up, we will also clean/blow your gutters. We will not clean gutters unless requested to, therefore please contact the office if you would like to include this service.
Don’t forget to call the office if we need to change the frequency of your mowing schedule. Please contact Carol at our office to make any changes to your current program.
We are truly grateful to help each of our customers with their lawn care and landscaping needs! We want to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday and we want to thank each and every one of our customer for their continued business.