March is here and many of you have probably taken advantage of the mild temperatures we had in February to get out into your yards and start the annual spring clean up. This is a great time to really take a look at the perennials in your beds and determine whether or not you really like them in their current location, need to cut them back, or possibly even remove them all together. I always tell people not to feel bad about removing or severely cutting back perennials. Some perennials like sage, Homestead Verbena, rosemary, thyme, and other woody varieties need to be given a good hair cut every so often or replaced every few years. It’s common for those plants to get woody over time, which can result in dead growth or unsightly foliage. When in doubt, yank it out. Quit watching the plant struggle a little more each year. Think of it as a great opportunity to update your landscape or try something new. Perennials planted in the spring vs. the summer get good root development and are better established which enables them to better withstand the hot summer days.
This is also a great time to freshen up your soil. Amending with a good compost or planting mix each season drastically improves your soil structure which will give you happier, healthier plants throughout the season. If the roots are happy, the plant is happy. Beautiful yards start with good soil.
If you’re looking for some inspiration I’ll be teaching a cool season annuals and perennials class on Saturday, March 14th. Space is limited so make sure to call ahead to sign-up. We’ll also have our annual Spring Open House on Saturday, March 28th. Our emphasis for the open house is to showcase all of our new varieties of plants for the year. Although some will be too young to go outside just yet, you’ll get to see what’s coming up and start planning for the warmer months.