Winter pruning and cleaning

Giving your garden a good clean-up can seem overwhelming, especially when it is still so cold.  But if you get started now, you’ll have much less to do when spring finally arrives.  After I cleared my garden, it brought smiles at the faces of my neighbours (or was it relief?).  A garden clean-up can also prevent pests, weed seeds and diseases from causing problems when temperatures warm.  It provides a clean slate for perennials and vegetables to grow.  The novice gardener may wonder exactly when to do each project.  It is common sense in most cases.  Inspired by the hyper-organized, we have put together are some ideas on how to begin.

Plan an area to work on each time.  That makes the task less intimidating. Then after finishing one area and doing it well, move on to the next. When you see the results of the first finished area, it will motivate you to continue. Whereas if you pull weeds from here and there, even though you have spent are few hours, the results are less noticeable compared if you focus on one area.

Handle weeds and their seeds.  This will be tough for the dry winter climates as the weeds don’t come out easily.  It helps to dampen the soil around those stubborn weeds a little and then try pulling them.

Remove the debris. If the winters’ seemingly relentless cold has done a number on your trees, start your clean-up efforts by collecting the fallen branches and scattered sticks.

Revive your lawn. It’s time to survey the grass and see what you need to do to bring your lawn back to life. It may be able to bounce back on its own, but it may need some help. Rake dead leaves and twigs or use a blower if that’s easier. Last year’s leaves will make great compost, but not if they keep the grass from absorbing sunlight.

Prune and trim. Next, you can cut back weatherworn bushes and hedges as well as any perennials that look overgrown, and trim trees to make space for fresh ones. Remember to apply sealant. Trim damaged tree limbs and branches that you can reach, and make arrangements for a professional landscaper to take care of the rest.

Map out landscaping and garden plans. If you’re going to make any changes to your current landscaping, start planning on what you’d like to add. Even for DIY types, it’s always a good idea to consult with a landscaper before making any final decisions or purchases.