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“What do you guys do this time of year?” I get that question a lot this time of year from friends and customers. I guess most people ask because the last thing that the majority wants to do on some of these cold, gray winter days in the south is to be outside working on their lawn & garden. There’s a lot to be done, however. The work we do this time of year is seldom as urgent or regarded as the work done in spring or summer, but it is no less important.
Just like anything else where we as human beings attempt to “subdue the creation”, we have to constantly refurbish things as they wear out. Landscapes wear out too. They can become overgrown, dated, and generally unhealthy and weary. Sometimes drastic pruning, often called renewal pruning, is necessary. At other times it’s best to remove and re-plant- out with the old, in with the new, as they say. A re-design gives us a chance to learn from the past and attempt to improve on the future. This is the time of year for such action. This is also a good time of year to scale back a landscape that has overgrown through the growing season(s). We do a lot of thinning and re-shaping trees and shrubs this time of year to prepare for the next growing season.
One of the most important things we do this time of year is mulching. Obviously we use more pine straw than anything else because of its abundance. Typically it’s cheaper to install than other mulches(yes, it does grow on trees, after all, but so do other mulches). It usually lasts half as long, however, so the choice is really a matter of preference. One of our long, loyal customers- Ernie Becker, once told me that “pine straw is like Chinese food- I like it when you bring it to me, but after a while I don’t like the way it looks anymore.” Well said. Pine straw and other mulches, like everything else, wears down and needs to be replenished often. We suggest doing it at least once per year, and now is the best time. Mulching not only does wonders for your landscape’s looks, it’s really good for plant health and longevity.
We do a lot more, too. There’s always something in the details to be done- whether it’s dead-heading pansies, pruning roses, thinning trees, etc. I think the perception is that all landscapers do this time of year is blow curbs. It seems like that sometimes and no doubt we’ve all earned that reputation at one time or another- but there’s more being done than that if your landscape company is thinking ahead. Besides, there’s a lot of bright, sunny days in between the cold, gray ones here in the south to enjoy and get things done.