Skip to Content

by High Country Gardens

A Quick How-To Guide

It's a wonderful time of creation, enjoyment, and confusion. Early springs constant mixture of warm temperatures and cold winds and nights makes it difficult to decide what to do and when. As a quick guide, check through this brief list. Miscanthus 'Gracillimus'Ornamental Grasses, like Miscanthus 'Gracillimus' should be cut back to make way for new growth.


April is the time to prune all your roses. Hybrid teas, Floribunda, and English Roses can be pruned half-way down. Shrub roses prefer lighter pruning. Climbing roses are best pruned after their first big bloom in May. Dead wood, of course, can be removed at any time.

Perennial Flowers and Grasses

In April, it is also time to prune back to the crown of the dried up stalks and the lowers of last year's flowers. Russian Sage and Butterfly Bush should be pruned back to 8"—12" from the ground. Ornamental grasses also need to be cut to ground level to make way for new growth.

Spring flowering Shrubs

Remember to trim back Forsythia, Flowering Almond, Flowering Quince, Shrub Honeysuckle and Lilacs after they finish blooming. Then all their new growth will go into flowering wood for next Spring.

Time To Fertilize

High nitrogen fertilizers that stimulate immediate green growth should not be used when your last frost date is still more than a month away. However, it is not too early to apply root stimulator and sea-weed fertilizer to newly planted items. Apply Yum Yum Mix or Gro-Power organic fertilizers to trees, shrubs, roses, lawns and flower beds.

Summer Shade

Does your favorite outdoor space need shade this summer? Now is the time to plant a large tree for immediate shade. The hardiest varieties for the Southwest? Honey Locust, Green Ash, Autumn Purple Ash, Norway Maple, Purple Plum, Crabapple, Zelkova, Mountain Ash and Goldenrain.

Summer Bulbs

Lovely dahlias, gladiolas, lilies, and cannas are a wonderful addition to the summer garden, but they need to be put in during spring so that they have time to develop roots and grow in time for summer glory. © All articles are copyrighted by High Country Gardens. Republication is prohibited without Permission.