Saturday, February 22, 2014

Getting the North bed ready for spring!

It is still February, but the days are getting a bit warmer.  Natural Gardener keeps telling us that the average last day of frost is tomorrow (February 23rd)

I spent some time this week getting my north porch bed ready for spring.

I pruned back my Knockout Rose.  I didn't quite make the Valentine's Day deadline, but I did make it out there on February 17th, so I was pretty close!

I am getting bolder and bolder with this plant, since I have pruned him back many times, and it only seems to make him prettier.

I wish I had taken a before picture, because I pruned him back to at least a third the size he was before. I have two goals, one to keep him from getting too big from the bed, but also I want the other two rose bushes to catch up in size with him.

I also cut the ruellia back, removing all the dead leaves. In past warmer years, these plants have weathered through the winter (I think?), but with multiple days with a low of 27 or so, they just couldn't hang on.  I'm curious to see if they are dead, or just dormant.

Speaking of the other two rose bushes, I pruned back the middle, miniature rose bush as well, but the far one I was hesitant to prune.  I wasn't really even sure it was alive, and it only had one branch with a few leaves clinging to it.  I decided maybe now wasn't the time to prune.


I came out just a few days later and found every branch bursting to life with leaves!

I also pruned back my salvia.  I pruned it back for the first time last year, and it seemed to make the plant bloom more, and make it prettier in the bed.  Reading online, I read that February is the right year to prune this guy, so I gave it a pretty heavy pruning, cutting it back about a third in size (2/3 of the previous size), and removing what looked like deadwood.  We'll see how it does in a few months.

You can also see my dwarf pomegranate in the back.  I have always pruned this guy back after the first freeze.  But i have always wondered if I didn't prune it back, if those branches might bloom.  So I've left it au natural, and we'll see in the next few months where the new growth comes.

And in cleaning up the bed, I found that my day lily is just starting to put up new shoots.  How exciting!  I've never worked on the beds this early in spring, so it has been fun to discover these brand new growths!

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