Some of us have truly enjoyed this pleasantly mild ‘winter’.  Skiers, snowmobilers and cold weather lovers, not so much.

But for gardeners, the real question is, “how has my lawn and garden survived this winter?”  Well, the situation isn’t actually too bad.

Yes, we received less than half the moisture, (44 cm, when we usually get an average of 95cm of snow). But otherwise your landscape will have come out fairly well.

That is, with the exception of your parched evergreens, who are screaming for water at this point.

Evergreens over winterTHE TREE IN THE FOREFRONT IS DEFINITELY SUFFERING…YOU DON’T WANT YOUR EVERGREENS TO GET TO THIS POINT

Evergreens need to get moisture back into their foliage.  Just as winter winds and cold suck the moisture out of our skin, the same applies to the foliage of your evergreens.  So as soon as you turn your outside water back on, give them a good drink.  Turn your tap to about quarter strength, wrap the hose around the trunk of your tree and let the water soak in for a half hour or so.  Repeat again about once a week until we are into a steady rainy season.  Your evergreens will thank you for it!

Landscape Clean Up

With spring surely arriving early this year, take advantage and start your shrub revitalization.  Pruning from the inside out will give old shrubs a nicer shape.  And newer shrubs will expand their longevity with an annual trimming out of dead wood, over-grown or broken stalks.  Without all the foliage, you can get in there and cut out the stuff that needs to go.

There is a significant difference between restorative pruning and trimming/shearing.  Great for hedges and topiaries but once foliage is on your shrubs, it’s more about trimming/shearing than it is about pruning like we’re doing in the spring. (Think of trimming/shearing like going to the hair dresser for styling.)

Winter pruning example:pruning_heading-back_SMALL (1)
Shearing/trimming example:Sheared shrubs
Hopefully, your lawn doesn’t look like this right now. If you didn’t get a chance to clean up all the leaves in the fall, get them off your lawn now.  Those wet leaves can destroy your lawn. Leaves left on lawns over winter

And those leaves you decided to leave in your gardens in the fall, great, you can work those into the soil now.

Fertilizing – Feeding lawns, gardens and trees

Now that the clean-up is done and you’ve had a chance to look more closely at your landscape and garden, you will probably start to think about fertilizing and the best time to do it.

Great question.  Early spring is perfect for trees and shrubs.  They’ll suck up the fertilizer with the moisture in the soil.  There is no need to rush fertilizing your lawn though.

By the way, do you follow the best practice of putting down a good late fall fertilizer on your lawn?  If not, please consider this for the fall this year.  But let’s not think about fall just yet.  Just a little head’s up not to forget the most important feeding of the year.

This spring, apply your first fertilizer after the initial lawn green up has occurred.

 FACT: Your grass will start to grow when the daytime temperatures are over 12C.

 Applying fertilizer too early will result in surge growth.  That’s when your grass outgrows itself… and by early summer you’ll be a left with a dustbowl for a lawn.

 TIP:  Too much food too early and your lawn will outgrow itself

Surge growth

Yikes!  Weeds!

Weeds!  None of us want to talk about this, but it’s always on our minds; our enemy, weeds.  When will they be back and how do we deal with their visit?

Sadly, we’ve come to a time to learn that you’re just going to have to get used them   I know, you’re cringing at the thought and possibly you’re not ready to accept a crazy notion like that.  Sorry, but weeds are here to stay.  Pesticides have been banned in Ontario since 2009 and there has been consultation by the government since 2002.  It’s not new news.  Time flies.

A healthy lawn doesn’t mean its weed free.  We’ve embraced a healthier environment.  A weed-free lawn is not easy to attain while respecting the environment, especially if you have a large property.  Yes, I see people out with their dandelion diggers and those great tools that the hardware stores sell but if your neighbours have weeds, you have an almost impossible task to keep your lawn “weedless”.

You’re thinking, and saying to yourself, “I’m driving down the street, and I see that my neighbour’s lawn is so perfect?  How is that possible?”  Well, there’s a good possibility there are some cross border shoppers bringing home “lawn narcotics” that are no longer available here.  Sorry, in my professional opinion, that’s just not the way to go.

 TIP: You’ll go a long way competing with those weeds if you:

  • Fertilize
  • Aerate
  • Water properly

And now, here is my personal favourite suggestion; get outside and enjoy!

For more great advice or simply great service that lets you relax and enjoy your outdoor space, contact Green Thumb Landscaping today. 

 We create landscapes that leave a lasting impression..An impression you will be proud of! Learn more about lawn maintenance and landscaping  on our website!