ShadyGardens Blog

March 1, 2014

Garden Chores for Late Winter

Filed under: chores, fertilize, garden, Georgia, plant, prune, seeds, winter — shadygardens @ 1:32 pm


In my previous post we established the fact that you should wait to prune away seemingly dead stems from winter damaged shrubs. But this weekend promises to be absolutely beautiful, and I know you are anxious to get out in the garden and do something! “What can I do?” you might be wondering.



Well first, one more “don’t.” Do not fertilize. Fertilizing should be done a little later on, when all danger of frost is past. 
But you can top-dress. Top-dressing is when you spread a layer of compost, composted manure, or worm castings around the plants. Top-dressing can be done any time of year, even in the middle of winter. I use the shavings from our hen house.


Poppies bloom in early Spring


You can spread mulch too, being careful not to cover the crown of the plant. Organic mulch is best–either wood chips, shredded bark, or straw. Gravel is not the mulch to use in Georgia, because it will heat the soil too much during summer and damage the plant roots.

You can plant cool season crops like collards, kale, mustard, and turnips. Sugar snap pea and snow pea seeds germinate best in cool soil. We have 3 batches of peas already coming up, and I plan to sow more today. You can broadcast seeds of larkspur and poppies now too.


February 3, 2014

February Pruning Tips for Alabama & Georgia Gardeners

Filed under: crepe myrtles, February, hydrangeas, prune, pruning, right, roses, shrubs, spireas, time, trees, when to, winter — shadygardens @ 5:41 pm
When to prune is a question I am asked almost every day. The best time to prune a flowering shrub is usually determined by when it blooms. Typically, a plant that blooms in Spring should not be pruned in Winter. The rule is, if it blooms before May, wait and prune after it blooms. If it blooms after May, that usually means it blooms on new wood, so if it needs pruning, do it in Winter.

Here’s a list of plants to prune in February:
  • Crepe Myrtle
  • Lilac Chaste Tree (Vitex)
  • Pomegranate
  • Summer-blooming Hydrangeas such as Annabelle and Peegee
  • Abelia
  • Holly
  • Summer Flowering Spireas like Anthony Waterer and Little Princess
  • Grapes and Muscadines
  • Roses, except the ones that bloom only once in Spring. Examples of roses that should not be pruned in Winter are Lady Banks and Caldwell Pink Climber.

January 7, 2009

Pruning Native Azaleas

Filed under: azalea, garden, native, prune, pruning, rhododendron — shadygardens @ 2:57 pm

As a native plant nursery owner, I’m often asked when should the Native Azaleas be pruned? Well, definitely not now, that’s for sure! Many new gardeners mistakenly think all plants should be pruned in winter, but that’s not so with most plants that bloom in early spring.

Azaleas and rhododendrons rarely need pruning anyway. I prune away only damaged or dead wood on azaleas. That should be done anytime damaged or dead wood is observed, to prevent disease.

Most of the native Azaleas bloom in spring, and they bloom on old wood. That means that the flower buds for this spring have already formed. Pruning now will remove those flower buds. If you need to control the size of your native azaleas or just want to shape up your plant’s form, wait until after the blooms fade and prune then.

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