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Trimming Back for Valentine's

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Trimming Back for Valentine's

Perhaps pruning with love will show how much you care!


With Valentine’s Day being today, I have to believe, that out there somewhere, someone with love in his or her heart, has a need to trim. There can be no doubt that everyone feels it. Perhaps ‘everyone’ is overstating it. It might not be the most endearing gesture.  However, many hopeless romantics are thinking about the state of their shrubbery. It is possible, as a direct result of Saint Valentine, that someone has started pondering pruning.  Maybe it's just me, but this much is true: We are all ready for spring’s arrival.  Trimming will help to pass the time, and it’s precisely what needs doing.


Having a sharp pair of shears is a must-have item for serious pruners.   Make sure you have a good pair of loppers (long handled pruners) and a saw to get the job done easily. You can prune broadleaf, conifers and non-flowering deciduous shrubs now. If you have a really large holly that has grown completely out-of-hand, this is the time of year to take it back hard. It is important to remember that conifers do not respond well to such harsh pruning techniques.  If you cut any needled plant back beyond the needles, it will likely not flush out new growth, or it will be spotty at best.


First on my list is liriope.  I have a bed of Monroe White Liriope, about 500 plants that must be trimmed now (by the way, I use my lawnmower).  What makes trimming monkey grass important is timing. It is important to complete the task prior to new growth emergence.  Even if you only have a few, it is much easier to do now. It's also a good time to cut any other ornamental grasses you have. Re-mulching is much more easily done before the plants begin to sprout as well. For weed control, remember to apply pre-emergent herbicide before mulching…the herbicide is more effective when it makes direct contact with the soil.  


Open on Saturdays beginning March 2.


Shear with love,


David Bates


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