Service Area: Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Ladysmith and surrounding areas

We are going through a cold spell right now but overall we have had an unseasonably mild winter so far. Many of you are happy with the warmer temperatures but some of you are like us and anxiously waiting for our first good snowfall.

Winter Outlooks from 4 local news organizations said that February and March will be trending colder and predicted an average of 6”-16” of snow for our area. Bring it on!

Pruning

Pruning is the practice of selectively removing certain parts of a plant. Late winter is a good time to inspect your dormant trees, shrubs, and perennials for damage and/or problems. Carefully prune (remove) broken or crossed branches, dead wood and diseased plant material.

Late February – early March is the time to prune most summer flowering plants and several types of trees and shrubs including:

Boxwood
Butterfly Bush
Gardenia
Liriope
Chrysanthemums
Crape Myrtle *You may often see these trees improperly pruned by cutting all the branches back to stubs. Though much faster it weakens the tree and causes un-natural stumpy growth. This process is called “Crape Murder”.

Please keep in mind this is NOT the time of year to prune spring blooming plants and trees. Pruning now will reduce the number of blooms in the spring. Most of these plants and trees should be pruned AFTER they bloom.

*Do NOT Prune these plants now:

Azalea
Barberry
Forsythia
Hydrangea – Spring Blooming
Lilac
Rhododendron
Dogwood Tree
Maple Tree
If you are unsure of the proper timing or technique for pruning your plants, please contact Grass Roots for assistance.

USDA Hardiness Zone Map

The USDA Hardiness Zone Map is produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and divides the country into 11 separate growing zones. Number 1 is the coldest and number 11 is the warmest. Going from 1 to 11, each zone is about 10 degrees warmer in an average winter. Zones may also be divided into “a” and “b” segments. These represent a 5-degree temperature difference.

Zone maps are tools used to determine which plants are most likely to thrive in a certain location. This will help you to decide what to plant and when to plant. These zones are very helpful when planting perennials, trees and shrubs. Knowing your hardiness zone, you can choose plants that will have the best chance of surviving your local winter.

The Fredericksburg area is in Hardiness Zone 7a.

Plant Heaving

Heaving is not usually a problem for established plants but can be for new plantings. During the cycle of freezing and thawing, the water in the soil can freeze and push the plants up because they do not have a strong root system to anchor them. If they sit out too long, they will dry out and die. After a heavy freeze, check your landscape for any plants that may have come up, and push them firmly back into the ground.

Winter Reminders

  • Try not to walk on frozen lawns. It can damage the crowns of the grass plants and may break the blades of grass. Damage done now will show up in the spring.
  • If sidewalks and driveways are icy, use a good quality ice melt product. Do not use salt or rock salt that can damage concrete, lawns and plants.
  • Brush heavy snow off branches to prevent breakage. Use a broom and sweep in an upward motion. Avoid shaking branches. Allow ice to melt on its own. If you are concerned about breakage you can prop the limb up until the ice melts.

heart made out of grass

We appreciate your business and look forward to working with you again soon. Enjoy the rest of the winter season.