Winter may linger for a bit longer here in Utah, but spring is on the way. On warmer days this month, there are lots of great things you can do in your yard to get prepped for the spring and summer months. You may have some areas that you didn’t get around to cleaning up before the snow fell this winter. That’s okay—now is a great time to take care of those needs.
Trimming and Pruning
If you didn’t get your trees adequately pruned before winter, don’t worry. Early spring is also optimal because your trees’ energy reserves are high, and they are still dormant. If you want to take advantage of fruit this year or the pretty foliage, you’ll want to prune before you notice the buds popping up (except peach trees—prune those after flowering). Any “wounds” to the tree in early spring should clear up quickly and not create a problem. Of course, pruning is best done by a professional to ensure proper tree growth and health. Fruit trees need special care with pruning, especially if you want the tree to grow in a way that makes access easy.
Shrubs can be trimmed right now, too. If you have roses, those should be tackled mid-February to early-March. One tip is to add a little dab of basic school-grade glue to the cut ends to help aid in the prevention of beetle infestations. Planting or moving shrubs or other woody plants is also best done in early spring, as long as the soil isn’t heavily saturated. Remember that every plant’s roots like to drain in order to thrive, so avoid planting in poorly drained areas or digging a hole that’s too deep.
By now, many pests have laid their eggs, and they are probably getting ready to hatch. If you see any bags or nests with eggs, get rid of them. Some can be hand removed and destroyed, others can be sprayed with a pest control or other products. There are many types of pests here in Utah, and you can tell if your trees have one if you see indications such as chewed or distorted foliage, white spots on the tree, cottony-looking masses, holes in the bark, sticky substances, or spots on leaves. If you suspect your tree has a pest problem, give us a call before it gets warmer. Treatment can be dependent on the pest, so don’t simply start spraying a store-bought pesticide without proper research.
Mulch and Prep
Mulching is always beneficial, and spring is a great time to get this checked off your list. Start by cleaning out the old debris and any leftover leaves from fall before adding a fresh layer of mulch. Mulch protects roots, helps with moisture control, and looks beautiful. Fertilizers and nutrients are typically necessary for most plants and trees. Fruit trees usually need an organic, high nitrogen fertilizer and some compost this time of year.