Pruning evergreens now has a second benefit. You can use the cuttings to make holiday arrangements! Cuttings from spruce, cedar, pine and fir make great decorations on their own and elegant arrangements especially when combined with flowers for special occasions. Conversely, don’t bother bringing in hemlock; it sheds its needles almost immediately. Similarly, holly must be kept in clean water and will still have a short life span. Leave the winter berries for the birds that need them for food. They fall off and can a danger to small children or pets who find them on the floor.
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
If you plan to put lights on outdoor trees or shrubs, do it now. Why? Because the branches become more prone to breaking as the weather turns colder. After the holidays, leave the lights in place until you have a warm day when you won’t risk damaging branches when you remove the strands.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
When you cut greens for indoor or outdoor displays, remember those basic rules for pruning so you do not accidentally transform a handsome tree or shrub into a landscape liability. If you like bright, berry accents among your greens, use artificial ones instead of taking berries from the birds.
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Leaves and other clean foliage should go into your composter or compost heap. Leaves run over by the lawnmower are a great source of nutrients for new plantings and existing lawns. Spread mulched leaves over old garden beds. The leaves’ nutrients will move toward the roots from the freezing and thawing action of the soil.
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
The traditional advice for cleaning up your perennial garden in October was to cut everything to the ground. Science – and common sense based on observation – says that practice took away a valuable food source for both migrating and over-wintering birds. Instead, leave up the flower stalks with seed heads birds. Migrating birds appreciate the food. And it is vital for those species that over-winter in New England. In addition to less work for you, the birds make your garden a more interesting place throughout the winter. The ‘no-cut’ policy isn’t universal, though. Always vigorously clean up any plant that has battled disease this year. Again, you’ll save yourself work and enjoy your garden more in the spring.