09 February 2010

Beginning the Trimming

I'm never one big on trimming and pruning. Frankly, it makes me nervous. It's such a big commitment to cut off those branches and leaves that have been growing so happily without interference. What if I cut at the wrong time? What if I cut the wrong way? Will I have ruined years worth of growth?

But regardless of that insecurity, pruning is part of gardening. In many cases, it helps plants grow better.

So, this weekend, I picked up the shears and started the big February cut. I've heard from many people that in Central Texas, Valentine's Day is basically the right time of year to cut perennials, grasses and some shrubs back. It's nice to have a rule of thumb. I suppose another would be NOT to prune anything woody that is spring blooming (since I'd be cutting off all the flower buds, getting fat now and ready for warm spring days.)

Mostly I sheared back grasses and sedges, like the lush, evergreen sedges lining the back path.

They were so beautiful and hairy, but I kind of like these little sheared green poofs too. (I hope I did the right thing by shearing them. I think I read that I am supposed to do that.)

I also cut back the old growth from my inland sea oats. The new growth is coming up from the roots (and the daffodils are about the bloom too).

Next for the shears will be my big beautiful bamboo muhly that became less beautiful after the big freeze.

These grasses have been growing for three years with abandon - I've never seen them brown and freeze. So sadly, I'll have to cut them back, but I'm hoping that they are strong enough to return quickly and with vigor. I miss the tall swaying green grass along the patio path...

On another note, the winter veggie garden has found its stride and is producing lettuce, broccoli, cilantro, arugula and greens like mad!


Amy Berkley Ellis said...

Very encouraging! I have been eyeing my dead branches for a week or so and decided to wait until this rain passed and then start on them. Had not heard the Valentine's day rule but that sounds about right! love your photos. xAmy

The Curious Holts said...

Looking good! I love the VD slashing...so dichotic! Sweet nothings in one ear, slashing and cutting in the other. Veggies look great!

TexasDeb said...

Your row covers are working beautifully if the resulting veggies are any indicator.

I've been preparing (indoors) for guests so have neglected outdoor trimming. Hope to get that done in the next two days.

I also heard Valentine's Day is when we are supposed to start potatoes in these parts. Anybody else know if that is true?