It's been a long and variable winter with rain, snow, and ice. Hopefully we can all put that behind us as spring arrives today! Don't put it past Mother Nature to dish out a little bit more winter as she did last April with snow on the 10th. 

Last week with sheer joy we received our first stretch of dry clear weather in months. Unfortunately, the forecast going forward is for continued cold and wet weather into April. Winter may be over but spring is still delayed.

There is always work to do in the landscape, but spring is the most exciting time to see plants come to life, leaves to come back onto trees, most plants blooming, and everything growing again. Let’s pause and enjoy the landscape coming into bloom.

Springtime Issues and Our Priorities

We have reported a lot about our late-fall delaying leaf cleanup, the variable winter weather through December and January slowing our winter cleanup work, and our sincere effort to catch up to be prepared when spring weather arrives. Here are the issues we currently face and our priorities.

Wet Weather Mowing

The cold weather during the late winter and continuing through March has kept lawns growing slowly, requiring little mowing. Now we are beginning to mow as needed depending on the weather, but we don’t want to get distracted because we have other winter priorities we want to finish up. 

March and April are always challenging months for mowing so it will be variable, based on weather. To avoid damage from rutting, we won’t mow on rainy days or shortly thereafter. Weekly mowing will begin sometime in April.

Rejuvenation Pruning Continues

As we have been discussing all winter, there are likely some shrubs in your landscape that naturally grow larger than the location where they are planted allows. In keeping them pruned to the appropriate height, many shrubs get out of hand and too big over time. To correct this, we recommend rejuvenation pruning to bring them back into size. This can sometimes be achieved by thinning pruning, but other times they need to be cut down to the ground and allowed to regrow at a shorter height and more naturally. The problem is that when we make the cutback, it looks like we killed the plants. However, they almost always grow back and look much better by the end of the season.

Late Season Leaf Drop

Through the winter, we spend much time cleaning up shrub beds and removing leaves and other organic debris. Some trees, including most oaks, still have yet to drop all of their leaves, so our clean-up work continues into the early spring. This helps keep sites looking cosmetically clean and also prepares our beds for fresh bark mulch and pre-emergent weed control application.

Shrub Bed Bark Mulch Application

We highly recommend applying a fresh layer of bark mulch every other year.

Bark mulch is a great moisture-control and weed-control agent, and makes your project look dramatically better after it's applied. However, it decomposes over time, and its water-saving and weed-control properties deteriorate over time too. That's why we recommend re-applying every other year.

Seasonal Color Maintenance

Most pansy plantings are doing quite well. Some of the credit is due to the mostly mild weather this winter, but our ongoing winter maintenance program helps ensure regardless of weather, your pansies are healthy through the winter and into the spring. 

Pansies are starting to grow again and the bloom will be spectacular over the next 2 months before it is time to change out to summer flowers.

Irrigation System Activation Service

As wet as it is outside now, irrigation season is only a month or two away. We have been busy for the last month and will continue through April to get our system serviced and ready for the irrigation season. 

We have started irrigating as early as April 1, but normally irrigation season start sometime in May. If you see the sprinklers on in the next month, it is likely because our staff is on site tuning up your system for the season.  

Spring Moss Control

We promote and upon approval perform moss control during the winter on most lawns we maintain. Moss is very aggressive due to our dark wet winters. Our first moss control treatment occurs in the winter, which we just are wrapping up, followed by again in the early spring, which will begin in April.

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