John’s Tips

Early Spring

Hard Pruning · If your bushes are too overgrown for regular trimming, but you don’t want to remove the entire shrub, hard pruning may be the answer. This should be done in very early spring, right before the new leaf buds begin to form. Many common shrubs including Burning Bush, Forsythia, Spirea, and Viburnum can be hard pruned all the way to 8″ from the ground! While it appears to be very drastic and even harmful to the shrub, hard pruning is beneficial, giving the shrub a new start, and it will quickly look healthy and normal again.


Aerate · Core aerating in the spring allows air and spring rains directly into the soil. Most importantly, it effectively loosens compacted soil created by foot traffic, large lawn mowers, and winter snow/ice. This gives your lawn a fresh start and a better chance at surviving the hot, dry summer months. Aerating in the fall at the same time as reseeding will cause the grass seeds to be planted too deep, creating slower sprouting time, lack of sprouting, and odd patches in your lawn.


Reseed/Overseed · Planting grass in the fall gives your lawn the best chance at survival. Temperatures are cooler, rain is usually frequent, and there isn’t a long hot, dry summer ahead to kill off your investment. I recommend planting the second week of September, to give the new root system the most amount of time to get established before winter dormancy begins. Planting can usually be safely done up until the second week of October.