by K. Marc Teffeau, Ph.D.
May Movements in the Landscape Did your landscape survive the wacky early April cold? As T. S. Eliot wrote, “April is the cruelest month.” We need to take stock of the damage that may have occurred. If you are anticipating peaches, apricots and plums, you might have lost all or part of the crop. By now, if the f lowers survived the cold, you should see some small fruit forming.
f lowering at their best, it is important to immediately remove, or “deadhead,” the spent flowers. The old clusters should be snapped off when partly dry, but remove with care in order not to damage the surrounding foliage. Remember to deadhead lilacs after they flower in June. If you need to do any pruning of other spring flowering shrubs, now is the time to do it. Renewal pruning is important for plants like forsythia which has a tendency to overgrow its location in the landscape. If your spirea has spread all over the place, do some serious cutting to get it back to a manageable size. The general rule of thumb is not to take more than one third of the plant out at any one cutting, but some of our more common spring f lowering shrubs can be severely pruned if needed. If you are doing some re-landscaping this spring and are thinking about adding new, low-maintenance f lowering shrubs, consider
There is a lot of maintenance work to be done in the landscape. Hopefully your rhododendrons still f lowered, even with the cold temperatures. To keep the plants 83