Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Basics of Pruning

You are walking around your yard and thinking, "What do I prune now?" There are several plants that should be pruned during the colder months to help promote new Spring growth. You can prune anytime to remove dead, dying and broken branches. However, there are a handful of plants that need specific pruning during the winter.

A butterfly bush should have the seed heads removed before Spring due to re-seeding. However, do not remove any branches until the Spring. All dead perennials should be cut back 4 to 6 inches. Leave some growth on top to protect the roots from any hard winter freeze. Also, cut back any watersprouts on trees. Watersprouts are fast growing, vertical shoots that grow from healthy branches. They divert energy from a tree's overall growth.

Here are a few plants that you should not prune in the winter:
Lavender or Butterfly Bush Branches
Ornamental Grasses
Evergreen or Semi-Evergreen Perennials
Also, leave some food for wild life over the winter months. Leave viburnum, cotoneaster, ilex and hawthorn fruits on the plants. Leaving the ornamental grasses provide some protective habitat for wildlife. Birds, insects and small animals will nestle in clusters of dead branches and debris through winter.
A great book to read for more information is The Pruning Book by Lee Reich. Click Here to read more about this informational book.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sneeze Free Gardening...Ah, Relief!

It's almost Spring and for some of us we don't think about beautiful flowers or nice weather...We think about dealing with sneezing and watering eyes! However, there are ways to be able to enjoy the outdoors without being bothered by the side effects of pollen. Here are a few suggestions:

Identify the plants that cause your allergies and the time of year when they are worst. Tree pollens usually occur in February and March where grass pollens are worse from late May to mid-August.

Plant brightly colored or fragrant flowers. Their pollen is large and because insects pollinate them, the pollen is seldom airborne. A good sign as to whether a plant is a good choice is if you see a lot of bees and butterflies around it.

Here are a few examples of plants that are less allergy provoking than others:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spring Show Ticket Giveaway: Enrty 1

In one sentence, tell us what "Everything Outdoorzy" means to you. The first eight (8) people to comment on this post win a pair of tickets (2) to the Southern Spring Home and Garden Show. See Official Rules at