Spring Pic #3I realize we’re not completely out of the woods in terms of Spring-like weather and temperatures, but I thought I’d get you in the landscaping mood by sharing some tips on Spring gardening.

Prepare for Frost:

Although it may seem unlikely, frosts can continue well into May.  The “frost-free” date for our little corner of the world is May 15th.  “Frost free” as defined by the University of Illinois Extension means there is still a 50/50 chance of frost on the “frost-free” date.  Not exactly a fool-proof date, huh?  Protect tender plants with blankets, cardboard or even newspaper.  We have absolutely been known to have frosts as late as Memorial Day, so prepare and protect accordingly!

Prune Trees & Shrubs:

Pruning while still dormant is ideal and somewhat easier as there aren’t as many leaves, so you can get a better look and feel of the plant’s structure.  Be sure to do this before the buds begin to break.  Make sure to remove any dead or diseased branches and/or crossing or rubbing branches.  Do not prune spring-flowering shrubs like Spirea or Lilac.  Prune only after they finish flowering.

Spring Pic #2Lawn Prep:

Prepare for the mowing season by removing any debris in the lawn.  Schedule a Spring Clean Up with Sweeney’s, and we’ll take care of it for you.

Divide & Conquer:

Spring is a good time to divide most perennials.  Divide when the flowers get smaller or the center of the plant dies or when the plant simply outgrows its space. 

Bulb Care:

Remove spent flowers and allow the foliage to die back naturally. 

Now, don’t you feel inspired?  Ok, maybe my words aren’t terribly rousing, but take a quick look around.  A big difference from last week, right?  Things are starting to green up and with the assistance of the forecasted rain, I expect our lawns and gardens to explode within the next few weeks.

“In the Spring, I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.”

– Mark Twain

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney