Winter Gardening Tasks: Pruning
The list for winter garden chores is slowly shrinking as we tackle each task on sunny winter days. Recently we crossed off cutting down all ornamental grasses in our gardens at Maymont. We cut down last year’s growth as low as possible, depending on the size of the plant. This is not only an aesthetically based task but it also removes any overwintering insect egg masses or diseased material in the dead grassy foliage.
Another task is using a weed eater to cut down the green foliage of Liriope, aka Lilyturf. The lush green foliage will turn brown in the spring as the new growth emerges. To maintain the lush green look of this plant the green foliage must be cut before the new growth, which is now.
This is also the time to prune summer flowering shrubs by cutting out any crossing/rubbing, diseased or deadwood from the shrub. However, this is not the time to prune spring flowering shrubs since the flower buds formed last year. Prune spring flowering shrubs after they bloom.
While doing these chores always keep an eye out for praying mantis egg cases as your work in the garden, we move them to a location of our choosing whenever we find one.
Sanitation in the garden is extremely important to prevent diseases and insects from overwintering from one season to another. Spending time removing last year’s growth from perennial beds is time well spent on a sunny winter day. Save the dreary days for catalog dreaming!