Last week we got your lawn ready for spring. This week it's time to tackle the landscaping. Doug Schroeder, lawn and garden manager at Lewis and our KSFY yard and garden expert, says it's best to start by simply walking around your yard, evaluating your landscape and cleaning out the debris left over from winter.
With most perennials, you will need to cut back the dead growth. As you start to clean away the dead grass and vegetation, you'll see that there are a lot of things that are already emerging.
Your sedums are likely beginning to emerge. With sedums, cut back all the dead growth as close to the ground as you can without damaging the new growth.
Hostas can be cleared away in the fall or spring. Just pull away the old growth to reveal the new plants.
Ornamental grasses should be trimmed back to about 8 inches off the ground. Doug suggests wrapping a bungee cord around the grass and then cut below the cord. This makes clean up a snap.
The general rule with shrubs and bushes is that if it's a spring blooming plant, wait to trim it later in the year. All other shrubs and bushes can be trimmed in the spring. Spirea can be trimmed to the ground. With roses, you should be able to see the green on the stem by mid April. You can trim roses back to the green. You should wait to trim your lilacs after they bloom in the spring. With hydrangeas, Doug suggests that you wait until the plant has completely greened up and then trim back the dead growth.
Right now is a perfect time of year to separate daylilies. Dig around the perimeter of the plant, about 6 inches out, and separate the ball from the ground. Try to remove as much dirt from the roots as you can. After doing that, look for a good place to divide. Split them down the middle with a shovel. After the split, place one part back into the ground. The other part can be planted in a new location. In fact, each individual plant, if the root is intact, can be started as a new plant.
One last thing Doug suggests is to put down a granular weed preventer in the landscape. This will prevent weeds from coming up throughout the summer and make maintenance much easier throughout the year. Applying an extended release fertilizer to your perennials will keep them well fed through most of the growing season.
When you're all done, apply a new, fresh layer of mulch to give your landscape a fresh look for spring.