Enjoy the sunshine when it’s out but hold off on that spring cleanup. It’s still too early in the season for clearing yard and garden debris. Why? For starters, we often have snow and freezing temperatures through April. We recommend you wait until daytime temperatures are consistently above 50ºF for at least 7 consecutive days before you get out in the garden for spring maintenance.

Early to Mid March

Take advantage of the warm days (when we have them) to walk around your yard, breath in the fresh air, and maybe even open a few windows. Enjoy the sunshine!

Look for bulbs that are beginning to break ground. Identify low areas in your yard that may collect runoff water. Do you have an idea for a veggie garden or new perennial bed? Make note of the direction each side of your home faces, and begin a wish list of plants best suited for those spaces. To help you with your wish list, use our online plant search or pick up our 2023 Plant Guide at either of our locations.  March is also a good time to sharpen and clean your garden tools for the upcoming season.

Clearing debris and trimming plants with hollow stems too soon allows snow and water to settle and freeze in open stems and near roots, causing plant damage or death. Plants suffer when trimmed too soon or cleared of protective leaves and debris, as well as beneficial insects. Native bees, moths, and butterflies call these spaces home over winter, and you don’t want to disturb or decimate the pollinators.

Late March & April

Once we’ve have several consecutive daytime temperatures above 50ºF, you can begin to clear some of the debris and prune your perennial gardens. Leaves and stems may be raked out of beds, but leave some for nesting materials for birds. Birds will be hungry and also appreciative of the insects they find when you don’t tidy up the yard too much.

Cold-tolerant perennials such as hellebores can be cleared of old debris. Cut Russian Sage, Butterfly Bush, and Blue Mist shrub back to 6” to 8”, leaving some woody stems for new shoots. Plumbago and Hibiscus are late to emerge, and will not show up until late May.

Prune hybrid tea, floribunda and grandiflora roses back to the green growth and prune out any dead branches. Shrub roses, including Knock Outs, do not need to be pruned.

Non-blooming shrubs can be pruned to remove dead or crossing branches, but do not prune spring blooming bushes such as Forsythias, Lilacs, fragrant Viburnums. These should be pruned right after they finish blooming. Prune fruit trees before the buds appear.

When Can You Start Planting?

You’ll want to wait until the ground is not frozen and the soil isn’t too wet. An easy way to tell if your soil is wet is to squeeze a handful. If it sticks together in a clump, it’s too wet. If it crumbles easily, dig away!

We open April 1st!

Spring is a wonderful time to use containers for curb appeal. Cold tolerant annuals can be planted in containers that can be covered or moved for protection if nighttime temperatures dip below freezing. Plants that we have for sale in spring have been hardened off and can be planted once the soil is workable and not too wet. We have a wide selection of early spring blooming trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs so you’ll be ready to dig in!