Local gardening expert Colleen Plimpton, author of Mentors In The Garden Of Life, spoke to WCBS 880’s Pat Farnack to offer her tips to Tri-State residents looking to keep their gardens looking exquisite this spring season.

When To Prune

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The act of trimming a plant, or pruning, is something that – when done correctly – can enhance the beauty of your garden plants.

“Get those clippers sharpened, and get out there,” Plimpton said. “And first of all, remove the crossed material, the crossed limbs, and obviously diseased limbs and shape that tree.”

Shape those shrubs.

“If the material is larger than we the homeowner are comfortable with, it’s time to get in a professional arborist,” she said.

WCBS 880’s Pat Farnack with Colleen Plimpton

Clean Out The Birdhouses

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If you want to attract birds, clean out the birdhouses.

“Perhaps there’s been some overwintering mice, or even some roosting birds in the birdhouses, and now it’s time to clean them out,” said Plimpton. “Wash them thoroughly with a solution of one percent bleach to ten parts water, and get those birdhouses ready for songbirds that will be coming back to our area. The blue birds are looking already.”

Get Out Your Camera

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Don’t forget to document your garden creation.

“As good a gardener as we are, we do not remember everything. We can’t. So, it’s wonderful to get out there. With the digital cameras nowadays, it’s easy! Take a picture every week of what’s happening and what’s not happening, so that we have a timeline, a flow, of what’s occurring in our garden. We’ll use that year after year,” said Plimpton.

Other Tips

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Plimpton adds that March is a good time to cut back the ornamental grasses, which will look rather pathetic for a while, but they will come back. Also, cut back that unruly butterfly bush to about 18 inches. She promises it, too, will make a comeback.

For the latest from the Best Of New York, follow us on Twitter!

To learn more about gardening and about Colleen Plimpton, visit her Web site.


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