Question: I have shrubs and roses that I didn't prune last fall. I wonder if there is any harm in pruning my plants now that the weather is starting to change?
Answer: Many plants are starting to "bud" out and getting ready to put on leaves.
Pruning fruit trees and other plants should be fine now; however, I would wait a little longer to prune your roses. Once you prune any plant, the pruned area is exposed to pests, bacteria and weather. Our frosty nights are still around and there is nothing more disheartening than a rose bush that has froze due to pruning too early. You can actually prune your roses all throughout the warmer weather. I would wait until then.
Question: We have noticed that the leaf mulch we applied to the soil on top of our raised beds has the look of being shredded and is somewhat scattered. Is this the result of snow being on top of the mulch?
Answer: I don't think the weight of the snow has much to do with shredding your compost. However, I think you may have a little four-legged visitor going through your leaves, especially with the "scattered" appearance you describe.
Raccoons are using their paws to look for a meal of earthworms that bury themselves in the layers of leaf material. It has been an extremely cold winter for our area and the raccoons are looking for a meal.
Deb Darr's column appears in the Itemizer-Observer on the last Wednesday of each month.