Despite the current cold entrance of spring, warmer temperatures are around the corner, spring cleanup shouldn’t begin until the ground has dried. Keep in mind walking or raking in garden and lawn too early compresses soil and causes the important spring rains to just run off the garden instead of being absorbed by the plants.
When things have dried up a bit go ahead and cut back any parts of perennials that were left up for winter interest, such as flower stalks and seed heads.
Pruning of spring flowering shrubs: Early spring flowering shrubs like Flowering Almond, Lilac, Sand Cherry and Forsythia should be pruned immediately after flowering. If you prune them before they bloom you will lose the flowering this season and maybe next depending on how hard you pruned.
If you want to rejuvenate mature spring flowering shrubs, as soon as the last flowers fade, use a pruning saw to cut off one-fourth to one-third of the biggest, oldest stems at ground level. Use pruning shears to shorten all of the stems to two or three feet from the ground. If you wish to greatly limit the shrub’s size, you can cut the branches as far back as six inches from the ground. By the end of the growing season, new branches will have formed. These will arch gracefully from the center and will be covered with new flower buds for next year’s spring show.
If you have any further questions about spring pruning or if you need someone to help with the pruning in your yard, please contact me or leave your comments below and I will be able to help.