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January & February Landscaping Tips

Happy New Year! With 2018 just around the corner, it’s time to start preparing your landscape to look its best in the spring. While it is easy to hide away from the cold winter weather here in Pennsylvania, be sure to spend some time in January and February knocking out some simple yard work- beyond taking down the decorations you put up for the holiday season.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few helpful suggestions:


Believe it or not, January usually has a few nice, sunny days that provide the perfect opportunity to work on your landscape. It is the ideal time to inspect flowering trees and shrubs for broken, diseased, or weak branches and carefully prune them out. It is also the ideal time to prune flowering trees for shape but be careful, pruning is a skill that takes years to learn! You can also trim your fruit-bearing plants to encourage new growth and fruit production.

dead leaves laying in grass
Be sure to remove any debris from your lawn!

There are a few things you can do in the flowerbed, too. We recommend gently turning the soil if the ground isn’t frozen or wet. This will expose any insect eggs and also can help break apart the dirt. You should reapply mulch around trees and shrubs to maintain a depth of 2 to 3 inches, and a bit more for newer or more sensitive plantings. Be sure not to pile mulch up against the trunk, though.

Now let’s talk about your lawn. Remove any leaves that blow into it, and make sure children don’t leave stray toys lying around. These can damage and even kill grass and ornamental plants.

Remember that planning ahead is a good idea if you want early spring installation, as landscape design professionals are swamped as soon as the weather starts to improve. Give Hively a call as early as you can to beat the crowd! Our number is 717-292-5696.


Not only are local garden centers mostly empty in February, but they often have sales on plant material, tools and other items ahead of their spring rush. Make a trip to one in your area and see what treasures you can find.

Now is when you may begin springtime applications of crabgrass preventer and fertilizer, but we’d aim more towards the end of the month. You can often save money by purchasing the yearly treatment all at once for programs like Scotts 4 Step.

Finally, one of the most important landscaping tips for all of winter is to remember to water your plants if there’s been no significant rain or snowfall. This is even more critical for any new plantings that haven’t had a chance to establish a root system.

If you don’t want to brave the elements or prefer to leave these tasks to the professionals, Hively Landscapes is just an email or phone call away. You can reach us at info@hivelylandscapes.com or 717-292-5696.