Gardening Basics

3 Gardening Chores to Prepare for Spring

Prepare for spring by diving into late-winter chores in the garden.

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Prune Vines in Winter

Water-Garden Maintenance

Remove leaf litter from a pond, especially if you have fish. Decomposing leaves can have an adverse effect on water quality. Turn off the pump to make it easier to collect the leaves. While removing the leaves, you can also scoop out algae that may have formed. When you're finished removing the leaves, turn the pump back on.

If weeds have sprouted in the path that surrounds the water feature, remove them by hoeing or pulling. Never use herbicides near a pond, especially if it contains fish, because nearly all herbicides are toxic to fish. They may also destroy aquatic plants in and around the pond.

Wait to remove or transplant overgrown or misplaced plants in or around the pond until the temperatures are warmer. Late winter is not an ideal time to transplant herbaceous plants, and the water may be too cold or even frozen to work in.

Ornamental Grasses

Late winter is the ideal time to cut back ornamental grasses. Although it can be fairly easy to cut back grasses with a pair of pruners, loppers or shears, you can also secure the top growth with a bungee cord or piece of twine and cut grasses back with electric or gas powered hedge trimmers. This method can be particularly useful on cutting back large sized grasses.

Vine Pruning

Late winter is a good time to prune runaway vines because you can visibly see where the vines are growing and remove them from nearby plants. If you wait until spring has sprung and the leaves are already on the trees and shrubs, you may miss an overgrown vine that could potentially be choking nearby plants.

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