Winter is here! It was slow to show up this year but now that temperatures have dipped down below freezing a few times, your winter garden probably has some frost damage.
It's time for a winter cutback. Pruning this month is not required for the health of your garden - its purpose is to keep your garden tidy throughout the winter season.
If you prefer to skip it this year, just wait until the first few weeks of March, when the last freeze has past. Cutback before spring is very important for most of your plants, to promote lush spring growth.
Follow these guidelines for winter or early spring cutback:
-Cut grasses back to six inches high. We like to keep some golden grasses long for the winter, until they get tattered or messy, but always cutback hard before new spring growth.
-For most blooming, deciduous plants, deadhead and remove all dead wood and frost damage.
-Cutback some plants (like lantana or Pride of Barbados) to three inches high or less (contact us if you have any questions about specific plants.)
-Do not cutback most trees and evergreen shrubs until spring to preserve the natural shape and growth pattern.
WINTERIZE YOUR GARDEN
Protect your plants for a freeze:
-Make sure beds are well mulched to protect your dormant plants.
-Water in your plants before a freeze (with the exception of succulents) and turn off your irrigation system.
-Cover tender plants (citrus or tropicals) with freeze protecting cloth, blankets or towels and move tender potted plants close to the exterior walls of your house.