Time for your spring landscape assessment!
First of all, hopefully you have completed your landscaping maintenance check list and are ready to assess the damage from Winter 2017. When we take that first early spring walk through our home gardens, we are often concerned and sometimes disappointed. Our grass may appear rich, green, and in need of mowing but our “woody” plants in our landscaping design may appear dull and somewhat burnt. We at Shreckhise Landscape and Design are here to remind you that turf needs only 3 to 4 days of warm sunny weather to start active growth. On the other hand, woody ornamentals require 2 and sometimes 4 weeks of warm days to “kick into gear”.
What if my spring landscape is showing signs of damage?
Don’t Be Alarmed! If you see scorched foliage as a result of a harsh winter in your front and backyard landscaping – don’t panic! Foliage often looks worse this time of year in home landscapes. You will discover that your landscaping will greatly improve in mid-April or into early May. Remember that woody ornamentals and trees take longer to start their growth process. You have probably invested much time and money in your residential landscape design. Here are a few simple tests to prove the viability of your shrubs and reveal their true condition.
The Shreckhise Landscape and Design Healthy, Thriving Landscape Test
1. Bend the twigs. Flexible twigs mean that there is activity within the plant.
2. Scrape the twig bark with a knife. (A fingernail will work as well!) Green sap under the bark indicates life is present. Healthy plants are green and moist under the bark.
3. Look for new buds. They may be no bigger than a pin head but new buds are a great indicator of the health of your plants. You may scrape a few buds off the twig. Again, it should be green and moist. Dead plants do not produce new buds.
So what happens if I discover plant damage in my landscape?
If the plant stems are brittle and the tissue under the bark is dry and brown then check another branch. If several branches appear lifeless, then replacement of the plant may be necessary. In some borderline cases, you simply have to wait. One thing for sure is that woody ornamentals (check out our selection at Shreckhise Landscape & Design) will change between now and early May. They will either slowly die OR produce new growth. Sometimes, you simply have to be patient, wait, and see. Feel free to contact Jim or Trent if you have any concerns about your residential or commercial landscape and to get fresh landscaping ideas for assessing your large and small garden designs.