Garden guru will share how to get the jump on spring cleanup

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published February 20, 2019


Did you know that each hour you spend in your garden in late winter/early spring will cut in half the time you spend weeding, pruning and dividing plants in midsummer? 

Professional gardener and designer Janet Macunovich will share her 30-plus years of experience at the Getting the Garden Ready for Spring event 6:30-8 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Troy Public Library, 510 W. Big Beaver Road. 

“Her programs are full. She is very popular,” said Margaret Forrest, the library’s adult information librarian. “I know that I am already daydreaming about my garden and what I would like to do with it this spring and summer. I’m sure others are thinking about their gardens too.” 

“For every hour you spend in the garden in mid-to-late March, you save two hours in the garden in the summer,” Macunovich said. She said she’s based this on records she keeps for her clients. 

“What you do in early March can put you so much further ahead,” she said. 

She said that by the end of April or beginning of May, weeds have had a month or more of growing, plants have budded out and chemicals have spread throughout plants, determining how they will grow for that season. 

“It can be 55 degrees in March,” Macunovich said. “It’s an excellent time to prune. The plants grow more orderly.” 

Weeds are easier to dig out or put mulch over in the early spring, she said. The ground still has some cold in it and is not as wet, she said. 

“By mid-March, the ground is not frozen. Even now, there’s not much frost in the ground,” she said. 

Macunovich said the belief that you should wait for warmer weather to garden dates back to early settlers who came from Europe’s warmer climates, climates that Macunovich said were akin to Virginia’s. 

“It kept getting handed down,” she said, noting that some plants, such as trillium and snowdrop, break the surface by Feb. 28. 

She called early gardening “one of the big misses — the least understood and opportunity most missed.”  

This growing season may hold a challenge for gardeners because “it got very cold very quickly in December,” she said. “Plants, particularly evergreens, might see more damage.” 

Macunovich said she will explain during the program how to identify damage in a branch and what to do. 

She will also leave time for questions. 

“I stay as long as necessary. To me, it’s such a joy to talk about gardening and to be gardening,” she said. 

Macunovich will also present a program called Continuous Color at 7 p.m. March 26 at the Troy Community Center, 3179 Livernois Road. People can register for that program at or by calling (248) 524-3484.

People can register for the Feb. 26 program at the library at or by calling (248) 524-3534. 

For more information about Macunovich, visit