With the recent snowstorms and cold temps around the front range, now is a great time to plan action steps for your landscape - as you know, the warmer seasons are just ahead of us.
This year could be different for your landscape. You can have healthier looking plants while minimizing your anxiety by being proactive. There’s nothing worse than being frustrated and giving up mid-season and then, settling with an unsightly landscape throughout the remainder of fall.
Here are just a few simple steps you can take right now to get your landscape in better shape for spring. If you break up these up into manageable tasks, you'll feel more accomplished and less overwhelmed as you cultivate a healthy, beautiful landscape.
These steps focus on the appearance, health, and future of your landscape.
Step 1 - Trim ornamental grasses
Your ornamental grasses have been battered with all the snow this season and aren’t looking so good these days. When you cut them to 3"-4” stubs, you'll allow more snow moisture to penetrate to the root system during the spring snow storms that typically happen in March and April. The new growth will be fresh green shoots looking and performing like a healthy grass.
Step 2 - Prune your perennials back
Trim your perennials between 1" to 3" from the ground and discard the trimmings along with any remaining dead annuals into the compost bin or tumbler. Getting rid of last years perennial growth and old leaves from the fall will give your landscape a fresh and clean look. You'll want to remove the clippings and debris and NOT use it as mulch, as the dead material can be a breeding ground for unwanted pests and diseases.
Step 3 - Add compost around bedding plants
By spreading a thin layer of compost (about ½”) around your perennials, grasses, and ground covers, you'll be setting your plants up for healthier growth and blooms during the season.
Be sure to use an aged compost when purchasing your amendments. Adding a “hot” compost can burn your plants and introduce weeds into your landscape. Be careful not to work the compost into the soil; you don't want to disturb the root zone. This compost coverage will help insulate the plants, retain moisture, and during the next snow or rainfall the nutrients will leach to the root zone, helping the plants emerge from winter.