By Brent Gray
There always seems to be some questions about pruning this time of year. Yep, you can prune in late summer. The type of pruning you do is the key. Some examples follow. It is just fine to remove any damaged, diseased, or wayward branch (those that poke us in the eye as we walk up the sidewalk) any time of year. Continue to remove any suckers that appear around the base of your tree-form crape myrtles as well as any suckers that appear below the graft of roses or fruit trees. Rub off any tender shoots that appear along the trunks or main branches of large tree-form crapemyrtles and fruit trees.
Late Summer And Early Fall Planning
Late summer and early fall is a great time to plan and do landscape projects. The weather is not so hot and humid. The kids are back in school and you have time to think!
Most landscaping is actually a matter of “remodeling” an existing situation. Only brand-new homes offer the challenge of bare ground to begin. Remodeling is a more leisurely process than planning a garden from scratch. There’s no urgent need to cover the brown earth. It’s better to come to the right decisions slowly than to rush in and make mistakes that will aggravate you for years to come.
While remodeling plans should always be a part of a total landscape project, the work can be done one area at a time. Doing the work by area is a great way to get the support of family members who could question your sanity if you propose a major overhaul all at once. Springing one little project at a time on your potential helpers, works so much better. Gratification is faster and then you spring the next “little project.” Before they know it, they have worked themselves silly and you can bash in the glow of your accomplishments and motivational skills!
An example of a way to really change the look of your landscape is to redo the entry—or the “public face” of your landscape. Is it inviting? Is it easily accessible? Is it easy to maintain? Just widening the walkway, adding some lighting, or even painting your front door can make a huge difference.
Don’t forget your entryway is a major focal point of your landscape, so you can get a tad lively! It is okay to express your individuality and uniqueness. It is YOUR landscape. Adding ornate pots, vivid colored or shaped containers, sculpture, unique plants (in shape, texture or color) are all ways to draw attention to let folks know this is where you enter my home.