It's been a long variable winner with one of the coldest, snowiest Februarys on record. This week is starting cold as well and there is even a threat of snow showers mid-week so who knows when spring will arrive.
This cold snowy February has us behind in our normal late winter priorities. Luckily the cooler weather has lawns and plants still dormant, so the normal spring pressure is not there right now. We know spring is near so we will be working overtime to catch up on finishing our shrub bed preparation and pruning prior to spring's arrival.
Much of our focus this winter has been pruning and preparing our shrub beds for the season. Is the most intensive work in the shrub beds during the winter? Some ask us if there's anything to do in the landscape during the winter and this surprises us as we are very active and believe some of the most important work that we do is during January and February. Many plants, especially deciduous ones, are best to prune during the dormant season. For us, all plants are touched up or intensely pruned this time of year to get prepared for the coming season. Our pruning during the spring and summer is normally just to maintain height control, as the best time to structurally prune plants is during the dormant season.
The cold weather in February has most lawns still dormant and not growing. We will soon be getting back into our mowing routine and hopefully we can get some improving drier weather to help facilitate this. We can't mow on these days that start below freezing and will take care to not mow when weather is rainy to avoid damage from rutting. This March looks to be a challenging month for mowing.
Through the winter, we spend much time in cleaning up and removing all the leaves and another organic debris in the shrub beds. Unfortunately, some trees including most oaks, have yet to drop all their leaves that this work continues into the early spring. Part of this work is to just keep sites looking cosmetically clean, but it also is to prepare shrub beds for pre-emergent weed control application and rebar casting.
We recommend turf moss control twice yearly and the second treatment is proposed for April. Our dark and wet winters promotes moss growth and treatment twice annually controls well assisting in healthy turf.
We highly recommend rebarkdusting sites every other year. Bark dust decomposes and its water saving and weed control properties quickly fade after that. Bark is great for moisture control, a weed control agent, and makes your project look dramatically better when maintained on every other year basis.
Despite the cold weather and snow, most pansy plantings are doing quite well. Some of the credit of this is due to the mild weather in January, but our ongoing winter maintenance program helps ensure regardless of whether that your pansies are healthy through the winter and into the spring.
As wet and cold 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 arrogation season start sometime in May. If you see the sprinklers on in the next month, it is likely because our staff is on site twinning up your system for the season.
Winter has been busy, and spring will be busier. We're excited for the weather to improve as well as the plants to return to life and all the work that we've done this past winter to shine with beautiful landscapes in the spring and summer.