Wintertime is a slow time for contractors in the landscaping world. Here in Kansas, in late February and early March, the snows begin to fall less frequently—yet it is still too cold to begin preparing and planting landscapes or installing irrigation systems.
So how can you generate revenue at this time of year? One solution is to add pruning dormant ornamental grasses and roses to your business offering.
Why prune dormant plants?
Dormant pruning is beneficial for plant health, and begins the preparation of the planting beds for mulch. It also requires little manpower to complete—crews of two or four workers would suffice.
Many clients may not yet understand the importance and necessity for the pruning. Creating awareness can help enhance your relationship. If they don’t know when to do necessary pruning to their shrubs and grasses, they can be more willing to have a professional do it for them.
It will satisfy those clients who are anxious to get started on their spring projects but don’t understand why you can’t start now that the weather seems to be warming up.
How to prune dormant ornamental grasses
Ornamental grasses, both cold and warm season varieties, begin to break dormancy in late winter. Now is the time to prune them, and removing dead or injured plant material will benefit growth.
Pruning is simple with a little instruction and basic garden tools. You’ll need some twine, wire or bungee cords, whichever you prefer (I prefer twine). You will also need pruning shears or larger pruners. Power shears can be used, but are more unpredictable and could cause severe injuries if not properly used.
Begin by tying the grass into a bundle with the material of your choice approximately 4 feet from the ground. Cut the grass at either 1 or 2 feet from the base, depending on the size of the grass and the amount of new green growth that may be present. Remove the debris, and you are done.
New growth will begin once the weather begins warming, and you will have fuller, healthier grasses for the year.
How to prune dormant roses
Dormant roses, specifically the Knock Out® and shrub varieties, will also benefit from pruning in late winter or early spring, just as the plants are beginning to break their dormancy.
Be sure to take protective measures when you begin. Wear sturdy work gloves to avoid the thorns. Also, wipe the blades of your shears with a disinfectant before moving onto the next shrub. This will help prevent the possible spread and contamination of disease.
As with ornamental grasses, use pruning shears to cut the shrubs approximately 1 or 2 feet from the base of the plant, depending on its size. These cuts should be made at an angle, and preferably just below any buds that may be present.
Now is also the perfect time to remove any crossed branches or oddly shaped shoots that may ruin the aesthetic appeal of the plant once growth begins. Remove the debris and your roses are ready for the upcoming season.
Keep your business healthy this winter
By offering dormant pruning towards the end of winter, you can benefit your business, your clients and their landscapes. Interested in learning about more winter revenue options like dormant pruning? Visit your local Ewing store to get your business ready for the slow season.