Tips and Tasks  

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People assume that winter weather causes all plants to die, but don’t fool yourself. There are plenty of things that you can do to nurture your plants so that come springtime they are refreshed and ready to grow and bloom again. Freezes can affect plant life and in some cases might cause the plant to prematurely die, but follow a few of our quick tips to ensure your garden or flower bed comes back stronger than ever when we hit the warmer months.

Smaller garden

Shear back your Liriope tomake room for new spring growth. Cutting back your Liriope is important so that when the spring comes it doesn’t overrun your garden. Cutting back in the winter allows the plant to lay dormant for a few months and grow fresh in the spring. Additionally, cutting back your Liriope rids the plant of dying leaves.

Make sure you are taking care of your more temperamental plants such as your bulbs. These types of plants are unable to withstand the winter temperatures and must be treated with care and brought indoors for the winter months. If you are pulling your bulbs out of the ground to store them make sure you pat off any excess dirt, but do not wash with water as that could cause the bulb to ultimately rot. When storing your bulbs you will want to find a cool, dry environment such as a closet or a basement and an easy storage container is a cardboard box, as you don’t want anything like a plastic bag that could trap moisture around your bulbs and cause them to rot. If your bulbs are already bloomed they can add a nice splash of color in your home during the dreary winter months.

Cut back your ornament grass six to eight inches divide large clumps and replace. Your ornamental grass can be cut back in the late winter or very early spring, as soon as temperatures stay consistently above freezing. This is something that can be kept in mind throughout the winter, as it will not be a pressing gardening need until the weather starts to warm up, but it’s never too soon to start planning! A method to cut the grass is called clumping. When you clump large sections of your ornamental grass you tie a rope or bungee cord around the clump of grass before cutting off the dead foliage.

Smaller bulbs


Barefoot roses should be planted after the last hard frost in your area. Since we are in the mountains that might be a little bit later as the weather isn’t always predictable. The availability to buy barefoot roses, however, spans from the fall through the winter, so the buying period might end before the last frost comes. If you wanted to plan ahead for an upcoming rose garden, you can store your barefoot roses in moist soil.

It’s important to cut back flowering vines in the later winter because that is when the plant is dormant. You will want to cut the oldest stems to six inches in length because then the renewal process can begin.

All of these tips are meant to help your garden survive the winter and prepare for the spring. Most plants enter a sort of dormancy during the cold winter months, but the proper care of these plants ensures a beautiful and bright spring!

Landscaping with boulders is a great way to create accents, provide natural seating and draw natural elements from the area into your landscaping. Late winter is the perfect time to start laying out your landscaping plans so you can enjoy the space all summer and fall. 

 

 

 

 

February Is Time To Prepare For Spring

Hopefully our snow season is over and with the groundhog predicting an early spring, we'll be getting some warm days to get outside. Now is a great time to start preparing for spring.Here is a checklist of some of the best chores to perform:

  • Pick up and dispose of leaves and winter debris 
  • Finish dormant pruning of trees, such as Crepe Myrtles
  • Apply pre-emergent herbicide to the lawn to help prevent crab grass and broadleaf weeds
  • Access winter damage to plants and prune or replace as necessary
  • Check your seasonal equipment now before the repair shops get overwhelmed
  • Sharpen the blade on lawn mower and other pruning equipment

It looks like the hot, dry summer weather has finally broken! June, July and the first part of August were unusually hot and dry this year. As a result, everyone’s lawns are going into the fall much more stressed and weak than normal. However, a little preparation now, can likely mean your best lawn ever come next spring and summer.

Aeration


The first step is aerating the soil. An aerator pulls plugs out of your soil. This helps loosen compacted soil and allows air and water to reach the roots. This helps your roots grow more deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn for next spring. In turn, that better prepares the grass for the heat and stress of the summer months. Aerating is also the best way to dethatch your lawn since it puts less stress on it. By aerating in the late summer, you give your lawn a fall growing season and a spring growing season to deepen roots a prepare for next summer.

Fall Seeding


When aeration is combined with a late summer or early fall reseeding, you double your benefit. Not only does the aeration help your existing grass, but disturbing the top soil also gives your new seeds a great way to make contact with the earth to ensure better germination rates and a thicker more healthy lawn. By giving these seedlings a typically cooler fall and moister growing season, they will be well prepared for winter and a great spring to come.

Fall Fertilization


The final step is giving your existing grass and new seedlings enough food to hibernate for the winter. Although our cool season grasses that stay green all year technically don’t hibernate, they do nearly stop their growth process. Think of fall fertilization as the way you prepare your lawn with proper nutrients to build it up for a long winter’s nap. Once the warm rays of spring hit it, your lawn will be in a much better position and get jump start on the spring growing season.

There you have it! Our three-step process for the fall, to have your best lawn yet next summer. We are booking quickly, so don’t wait too long to call so that your lawn has as much opportunity as possible to prepare for winter.

Managing Mosquitos

You have taken all of the mosquito-ridding precautions you can think of...you have removed all of those things that hold water (like watering containers, the little pools that form on tarp covers and trash can lids). You have even stocked larvae eating fish in your water feature that we installed last year. Yet you still spend your evening spraying and swatting the pest. Have no fear, TPS can help. Call us to schedule your Secure Choice Mosquito Assurance Program today. This service consists of a mist spray of two types of products for your lawn and landscape, which should be applied about every 6 weeks for best results. A special backpack power blower is used to apply a fine mist of products to your shrubs, trees, lawn, and around the perimeter of your home, especially in the back yard. This program provides great control of the pest allowing you to spend more time outdoors and less time worrying about the nuisance of mosquitos.