As the snow fell in DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland, I kept thinking about how my garden would survive. I repeatedly saw homeowners salting their gardens on the local news, and I cringed each time I saw it. Put down the salt, and check out these Washington Post tips on how to help your garden/landscape recover from the snow storms.
*Stop Salting Your Garden! Repeated use of salt will damage plants and change your soil structure. If you used a lot of salt in the past couple of weeks, be sure to thoroughly water your lawn and landscape in the spring.
*Snapped branches should be cut cleanly just outside the swelling or collar where the base of the branch joins the trunk, but there is no need to be hasty. Waiting a month or two won’t harm the tree.
*Shrubs, which have multiple stems and denser branching, are more willing than trees to fill in from breakages, so cleanly remove the broken stems and sit back.
*The best thing you can do for azaleas, Japanese hollies or any other shrub buried in wet snow is to leave it alone. Trying to excavate it will only damage stems and buds. Flattened plants will spring back, perhaps not immediately, but they will want to reach for the sun again. Once the snow is gone, find broken branches and cut them cleanly where they meet another stem.
For more tips . . .
On Monday, we talked about what you can do in your garden during the cold winter months to prepare for Spring. In addition to our tips, the Washington Post came up with a few more ideas for the month of February:
Spray For Pests Now — Spray roses, fruit trees, and other ornament prone to mites, scale and lacebug with dormant oil to kill overwintering eggs. An oil spray in winter will minmize pest problems this growing season.
Hoe & Pull Winter Weeds – Hoe or pull weeds taht have taken hold in garden beds and are preparing to bloom and seed, especially benbit and chickweed.
Cleaning Garden Beds – Continue to clean up garden beds in advance of spring. Cut back faded perennial foilage and rake wind-blown leaves, which may be covering emerging bulbs and harboring slugs and other pests.
And be sure to remind yourself, as the country prepares for another large storm that will certainly bring more snow to the DC area, Spring officially begins on March 20th !
Look out for GardenWise‘s J. Mark White on HGTV’s “Curb Appeal” tomorrow! This latest episode was great fun to shoot as Mark’s real life clients, Matt and Chris, are always a pleasure to work with. Mark also had the chance to bring Matt to the GardenWise Studios to see the different types of flowers and plants that thrive in the Washington, D.C.-area, which is included in the episode.
Mark created, designed, and installed all of the landscape, hardscape, stonework, garden accents, lighting, and custon ironwork featured in this episode of Curb Appeal. GardenWise, Inc. also owns the rights to design work.
Here’s an inside scoop — at the 11th hour, Mark had to reach out to Arlington, VA-based architect Dwight McNeill, AIA, for assistance when the show’s designer just couldn’t come up with an acceptable design. Dwight quickly met with Chris and Matt and got to work. He went over choices for the exterior color palette, and delivered the exact combinations Matt and Chris hoped to find, which are used in the episode. Dwight didn’t receive credit on the show for his work, so we’re giving him a well deserved shout out for saving the day.
For more of Dwight’s work, check out Better Homes & Gardens. Another shout out to Furnari Iron Works, who did an amazing job in bringing life to Mark’s iron work design.
Below is the plan Mark designed and installed & some before/after pictures.
It’s that time of year again; time for your garden to lie under the covers with its eyes shut tight. While the snows piles high and frigid weather wraps stealthily around us, your garden must sleep through the bombardment of December, January and February.
But our work is never done! Here’s a short list of what you can do right now to prepare your garden for the post-winter months:
• Make mental notes of possible garden improvements, additions, or even deletions as you walk around the garden. Contemplate what you will need for these improvements and make a schedule for the spring.
• After wet snow or high wind, check for broken branches and cut them off to prevent further tearing of bark.
• If possible, drain any garden puddles that stand more than a few hours. Do not walk on garden soil when soggy, and avoid walking on water-saturated lawns.
• Check mulch for disturbance by squirrels & birds. Repair as needed.
See more winter landscape images in the GardenWise Portifolio