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Home Gardens In Need Of Some TLC Amid Rough Winter

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — This winter has taken a toll on the pride and joy of many homeowners: their gardens.

As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, with spring only two weeks away, it’s time for a little garden rehabilitation.

If you think you’ve had a rough winter, imagine how your brown lawn and shrouded shrubs must feel after being buried under the more than 5 feet of snow that fell on Long Island this winter.

Although it still feels like winter outside, spring has sprung over at the annual Hicks Nurseries Flower Show in Westbury, where experts have first aid advice to save gardens from winter’s relentless beating.

It’s the weight of the snow and ice on brittle branches that has done the most damage, Gusoff reported.

Evergreen branches need pruning, deciduous shrubs too – but only after they’ve sprouted new growth.

“Wait for it to sprout out, and then prune out the dead wood on the tips,” explained Doug Akerley, of Hicks Nurseries.

Be sure to replace plants that don’t show new life by mid-May, Gusoff reported. But don’t pull the plug too soon, bronze tips on evergreens are normal.

“This winter, because it was so consistently cold, basically every evergreen on Long Island is gonna have this,” said Nate Jackson, general managers of Hicks Nurseries.

Experts also suggest to fertilize in mid-spring, even if you never have before.

“If you did a lot of fall fertilization in hopes that would carry over to spring, that’s probably washed through the soil with all the snow we’ve had,” Jackson said.

The silver lining: “If there is snow covering your perennials and lawn, usually that creates an insulated barrier and they come out beautifully once the snow melts,” Jackson said.

While winter still rages outside you can get an early dose of spring fever for the next 16 days. The Hicks Nurseries Flower Show and the first aid advice for winter weary home gardeners are free.

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