Paula's Patch: A Minnesota Garden

Come wander in; my gate is always open! Gardening / Birding

Spring Garden Chores March 9, 2012

As the weather warms (60 degrees here tomorrow!) and our days grow longer, it’s time to step into the garden and see what needs cleaning up and pruning.  Now is the best time in Minnesota (late February or early March in Zone 4) to prune dead or broken branches, improve structure, or control the size and shape of trees and shrubs.

garden shears and rake | | paula bonelli

There is nothing better on a warm Spring day than getting some fresh air in my yard, pruning shears in hand, tidying up what the Winter has left behind. I remove any old wood — dead stems or branches — from my shrub rose sending energy back to the plant for new growth.  I have 2 dogwood shrubs that are next to a walkway and a couple of trees that need slight pruning. And a half dozen plume poppies and a bed of tall phlox I can safely cut to the ground. (I left them standing for my birds. They love the spot to hang out, as well as the seed heads.) If you have tall grasses in a confined area, you can cut them back too.

It’s much easier to do these tasks in early Spring (weather permitting) before the new growth starts coming in, but you won’t want to prune any spring-blooming shrubs or trees. For more information about what to prune when, look to your local extension office or horticultural society Web sites. In Minnesota, the University of Minnesota Extension Service offers more information on the best times to prune trees and shrubs.

garden, pruning shears | | paula bonelli

I really don’t have too much to do in my small yard; it’s just a good reason to get outside. 🙂 What kinds of Spring chores keep you busy?


4 Responses to “Spring Garden Chores”

  1. Love the black and white tools picture! Don’t you love this weather?!!

    • Paula B Says:

      Ah – wish I could say the pic was mine. Good ‘ol MS clip art. Dug through my photos, but couldn’t come up with anything that worked; it did inspire me to try and create something similar! Love, love, love the weather!

  2. Paula, I just spent yesterday doing just what you recommend! Lovely high 60’s temps here and a great day to trim, prune and generally clean up the garden. Oh, I love daylight savings time – this is MY time of year!

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