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With the uncharacteristically warm weather invading the Western North Carolina Mountains, it is easy to forget that we are technically still in the throes of the winter season. Keeping with our ongoing theme, we wanted to offer some tips on tree and shrub care during the winter in preparation for the spring, which might be upon us sooner than we think!

February is the time to prune most trees, shrubs and woody ornamentals such as Hydrangeas, Crape Myrtles, Butterfly Bushes, Roses and fruit trees. If your trees or shrubs are supposed to bloom in the spring, late winter is not the time to prune them. This time period is for trees and shrubs that bloom in the summer and early fall.
For plants that bloom in the spring, prune them after they bloom.

When pruning your trees and shrubs, make sure that you are cleaning up the wreckage as you go- especially in the case of the Camellia. Camellia plants are susceptible to a fungal disease called Camellia blight. Camellia blight causes the flowers of the shrub to brown and fall off prematurely. If your Camellia appears to be infected, you need to make sure the fallen infected blooms are picked up and destroyed away from the plant to help rehabilitation.

Another issue that trees and shrubs might face during winter is damage from inclement weather. If any of your plants experienced damage from ice or wind, you should prune the damaged area so that your tree or shrub doesn’t continue to grow with a dying limb or branch. The dryness of the winter season also contributes to your plants’ susceptibility to breakage. Making sure that your evergreens and young planted trees and shrubs stay hydrated during the driest part of the winter helps to defend against breakage and keeps them healthy through the most difficult season of the year.

As you prepare for spring and begin to think about your mulching needs, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. When you’re mulching, especially a tree trunk, you don’t want to pile the mulch in a ‘volcano effect.’ Keep the mulch 3-6 inches away from the trunk. Better yet, if you don't want to deal with the hassle of mulching, take advantage of our February deal. Make an appointment to have us mulch your planters before March 1 and you will receive 10% off materials!
We at TPS Landscaping felt our customers’ pain during last fall. The dry weather made it almost impossible to keep any lawn or garden looking healthy. Western North Carolina natives felt the immense drought especially during the North Carolina wildfires. We wanted to provide a way to help our customers with all of their gardening and lawn maintenance needs. That is why we have decided to begin offering irrigation systems and installation this year. These systems make sure that the plants you’ve dedicated your time to remain healthy even through a dry spell. And for a limited time with every purchase of an irrigation system, we will include a free winterization of your lawn for next winter!

Just because it is winter, doesn’t mean that you should stop caring for your lawn. Some people spend all spring and summer perfectly manicuring their grass only to completely forgo any care during the colder months, don’t make that mistake. There are three tips we give concerning lawncare in the winter—they are as follows.


Fertilize fescue lawns in February with one pound of Nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. Fescue grass is a huge draw as a cool season grass because it is relatively low maintenance. It requires less watering, mowing and fertilizer as a whole, making it cost efficient and environmentally friendly. That being said,you should not neglect your fescue grass just because it doesn’t always require the same amount of care as other, more temperamental grasses. Our recommendation of Nitrogen as fertilizer is a once a year treatment to help keep your fescue grass healthy. Additionally, you can use the process of over-seeding your fescue grass in early spring to help repair areas that have started to thin.


Make sure you’re keeping an eye out for cool season weeds. Some of these weeds include Chickweed, Hairy Bittercress and Henbit. If you spot any of these varieties of weeds on your lawn you can remove them by pulling or through the use of a broadleaf herbicide. There are some ways you can identify these weeds in your lawn. The first is to become familiar with different types of weeds that flourish in the Western North Carolina weather.Chickweed is typically is common in new lawns. Henbit and Hairy Bittercress are both weeds that love moist soil, so melting snow is the perfect environment for them to grow healthily. The most important thing to remember when it comes to winter weeds is that information is the best ammunition. Being knowledgeable about how to identify each weed and the best way to treat it is all even the best green thumb can do.


During the winter, make sure you don’t forget about all of your trusty gardening equipment that has been so reliable throughout the warmer months of the year. The winter is a great time to replace or repair worn equipment such as your lawn mower blade. This is the one time of the year when you can focus on getting the blade sharpened or replaced if it is damaged. That same tip goes for all of your lawn equipment. Make sure your Weed Eater and Leaf Blower are still functioning. The winter is the perfect time to reevaluate the quality of your equipment so you aren’t out of luck when the spring rolls in.

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.