Springtime in Chicago usually means that avid gardeners have to be prepared for weather that can be highly unpredictable at times. In many cases, weather patterns can change from rain to snow to a beautiful 65-degree day – so it’s important to make the right preparations so that your flowers and other plants will be able to thrive.

Cut Back Perennials and Grasses

Trim last year’s stalks on any ornamental grasses you have to just a few inches above ground level before new growth comes in. Now is the time to remove any dried stalks of perennials that may still be standing as well, and this should be either done while the soil is still frozen or after it has drained properly so that you can avoid walking on wet soil.

Cut Branches on Flowering Shrubs

If you have any spring bloomers in your garden such as forsythia, now is the time to cut them and stand them in vases of warm water – this will help encourage them to start blooming indoors. Ensure that any pruning is done very carefully so that the overall shape of these shrubs is left intact.

When to Prune Your Trees

If trees such as elms, maples and birches are trimmed while their sap is still flowing, the cut areas will bleed with sap. This not only looks rather unsightly; it will also attract insects and make the trees more susceptible to various diseases. The best time to prune most trees is during winter while they’re dormant because this will be when they’ll be less prone to disease.

Remove Tree Wrap

If any trees in your garden have been wrapped, now will be the time to remove it. Leaving tree wrap on for too long will trap too much moisture around the trunk and encourage disease.

Prune your Shrub Roses

There’s usually no need to cut back every stem on your shrub roses, but it’s a good idea to prune any stems or parts of stems that have died during the winter. The rest of the shrub can then be pruned as needed to obtain the desired shape and size.

Don’t Dig in or Walk on Wet Soil

Digging in or walking on soil that is still wet will cause it to become compacted. Over time, this will cause any plant roots underneath it to become smothered – and compacted soil is quite a challenging condition to rectify. As such, you should wait until soil has thawed all the way through and water is draining easily through it before starting any digging or walking on any part of your lawn or garden area.

Although getting your garden and yard ready for spring may seem like an overwhelming task – especially if you try tackling it alone – this need not be the case if you enlist the help of our professional landscaping team. Contact us today if you would like to learn more about getting your flower beds and yard ready for spring.