GARDENING: Spring garden prep should begin soon

We have had hints of warmer weather; this means the season change will be here soon. It is important to begin your spring garden prep now.
Start getting ready for the spring hustle by making sure garden equipment is clean, hoses are in good repair, and other equipment is in good condition.
Perennials like American beautyberry and Texas lantana can be cut down to the ground and all of the old wood removed, as they completely regrow every year. How you prune depends on your plant (spring bloomers should only be pruned after they bloom). Study up on the plant’s proper care. Some trees and shrubs require almost no pruning whatsoever, or even are averse to it. However, sometimes even the staunchest native may need a bit of a cleanup to remove dead wood, limbs too low to the ground, or branches overhanging a building.
Just about any potted perennial can be planted at this time.
Summer and fall blooming perennial flowers can be transplanted and divided in anticipation of spring growth.
Crepe myrtles: People are still pruning these trees, so let us just tell you. Do not be an offender. Do not commit crepe murder. Lopping off your tree does not increase the quantity of blooms and the weak 1-year old wood cannot even withstand the weight of its own flowers. Leave the tree alone. All it needs is for diseased or dead wood to be cut off as well as suckers to be removed from the base.
Ornamental Grass: Prune around this time. All a native grass needs is a good fluffing. Take some good leather gloves and make upward raking motions with open hands. This removes dead matter while maintaining the plant itself.
For more information, call the AgriLife office at 498-4071 in Odessa or at 686-4700 in Midland, email jeanette.castanon@ag.tamu.edu or visit aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu or westtexasgardening.org.