Late Winter Gardening

Before we know it,  Atlanta gardens will see hosta tips rising up through the dirt and azalea flower buds bursting. On this page I’ve collected easy and manageable activities we can do to keep our yards in shape and start preparing for this Spring! Some are from my own experience and some are from terrific online resources. The end of winter is a great time to check off some maintenance items for garden and patio. 

LANDSCAPES

Trees and shrubs: fertilize before they begin spring growth; cut off dead branches. Clear out tree branches to let light once leaves begin growing, where needed.

Cut back pampas and maiden grasses, Butterfly bushes, and holly shrubs.

Cut back dead grasses and flower stems (pampas grass and Rubeckia Hirta Black-eyed Susans) left over from last fall.

Mow liriope (monkey grass) which will begin to regrow in late March.

Hellebore / Lenten roses: cut back and clean out old tattered foliage so the flowers, which naturally droop downward, can be appreciated!

Knockout Roses: prune these back in late February, early March. These flowers bloom off of new growth so cutting the bush back to about 1/3 its size will promote lots of new growth and plenty of blooms. 

It can be fun to force forsythia blooms — at first sign of color on the buds cut the stem and bring it indoors and arrange in a tall vase of fresh water.

HARDSCAPES

Atlanta has some wonderfully temperate winter days that are perfect for outdoor hardscape maintenance. Suggested projects could include: stain the deck, paint the porch, paint or touch up patio furniture and garden benches; clean out fountains and other water features, clean off outsides of container gardening pots. Plan these jobs for days when the forecast predicts temps that stay above freezing for a few days afterwards, so that paints and stains can fully dry. 

Clean pots, inside and out. Refresh soil every few years. I don’t clean the outside of my terra cotta pot, I like the weathered look of that one:)

Cleaning out the stream and pond is a big (and cold!) job that my husband handles. He always waits for a warmer day to work on this.

Distribute fresh pebbles on walkways where needed, before weeds begin to emerge.

Clean out bird feeders and birdhouses to prepare for Springtime lodgers! 

This is also a great time to refresh your outdoor decor, such as pillows, chair cushions, umbrellas, pottery, furniture, and garden figures. They are easy to find right now — most stores already have these items on display! 

Enjoy a warm-ish day and Happy Gardening!

Pike’s Nursery has some wonderful and unique statues, like this St. Francis we bought years ago.

RESOURCES:

walterreeves.com: hardiness-zones-for-georgia

February Gardening To-Do List HGTV

GardenDesign.com

Dogwoodlandscaping.com

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