To prune or not to prune...

At this point of time in the year, now is the time to start watering the plants at least weekly, early morning or late evening, or ensuring your irrigation system is set up and running. 

Here are a few pointers for your plants.  [Note that we also offer bed weeding, fertilizing and light pruning service monthly, and you can contact us to provide that service for you should you not wish to read any further.]

Hydrangeas: NOW is the time to prune the dead flowerheads off (if you haven't already) to the first set of buds below the flowerhead. [See image]. Prune ABOVE the next set of buds. You may not get as prolific flowers the second year, but third year they should be right back to where they were this year.  Note that all flowers on the hydrangeas we plant tend to grow on OLD WOOD.  Some clients like to look at the heads over the winter, but know you can also prune them back in the fall.  This will sometimes end up with more blooms the next year than when you prune now. Keep that note for later! 

Grass: now is the time to prune them down to 1-2" above the ground, to basically where the new grass is already starting growing and turning green. If you prune off some green, no big deal, the grass will grow from the pruned end in the future.  For FLAME GRASSES, you may not see any green for another 3-4 weeks, that is normal as it is a late season grass, and starts growing more vigorously later in the season.

Perennials: these can also now be pruned down to the ground and their old remnants of last year that aren't looking so hot can be removed. Astilbes, go right down to the base, nothing is coming back. Contact us BEFORE you cut if you're not sure.  

DO NOT PRUNE any birch or maple trees or shrubs, if you have them. They will bleed sap this time of year and can be prone to infection and disease if pruned. Hold yourselves: wait until June to do this pruning, if you notice some parts dead.  

With any luck (or good planning) your plants fall into the low maintenance category and take care of themselves AS LONG AS THEY ARE WATERED REGULARLY,  and you have dealt with dropping last years flowers, dropping leaves, self pruning, etc.

Happy gardening everyone! Hope this was helpful!

Jared Ellerbeck