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Garden Clean-up

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If you enjoy gardening and seeing birds and other wildlife in the garden, don't cut back your plants until February. Even though we had a hard freeze the weekend before Christmas and everything looks brown now, your plants provide food and shelter for wildlife. Seeds provide food for many species of birds and the dead tops of the perennials provide shelter from the weather and cover from predators for variety of birds and mammals. Ornamental grasses and other dense perennials provide shelter over the winter months for beneficial insects such as lady beetles and green lacewings. So, wait until February to do your garden clean-up. 


February is also the month to prune back your roses - if you still have them. Valentine's Day is a good reminder to do this because we equate it with roses. Roses should be pruned back by at least half and any canes that are pencil size and smaller should be removed along with any canes that are crossing one another. Remove any dead material from your roses.


The one thing NOT to do is top your crape myrtles. Here is a link from the Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney by local garden experts explaining the reason not to top your crape myrtles. And, just because your neighbor does it doesn't mean you should do it. It is like your mother telling you, "Just because Johnny jumps off a cliff doesn't mean you should do it too." http://crapemyrtletrails.org/pruning/ 

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