by David Salman

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Spring is a wonderful time of creation, enjoyment, and confusion. Our 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.

Roses Now 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. Confused about rose pruning? Talk to our knowledgeable staff.

Perennial Flowers and Grasses It's time to prune back to the crown the dried up stalks and lowers of last year's flowers. Russian Sage and Butterfly Bush hould be pruned back to 8"-12" from the ground. Ornamental rasses 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 Our last frost date is still more than a month away so high nitrogen fertilizers that stimulate immediate green growth should not be used at this time. However, it is not too early to apply root stimulator and sea-weed fertilizer to newly planted items. Apply Yum Yum 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 our area? Honey Locust, Green Ash, Autumn Purple sh, Norway Maple, Purple Plum, Crabapple, Zelkova, Mountain Ash and Goldenrain. We carry these trees plus dozens of others in an assortment of sizes.

Summer Bulbs Lovely dahlias, gladiolas, lilies, and cannas are a wonderful addition to the summer garden, but they need to be put in now so that they have time to develop roots and grow in time for summer glory.

Text by David Salman

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