FEBRUARY LANDSCAPE TIPS
Garden. Coffee. Garden. Does a good morning need anything else?’ Betsy Canas Garmon
PREPARE FOR A DROUGHT
· Please prepare your plants now for a drought by amending their soil, pruning properly to reduce canopies, feeding them with a low nitrogen fertilizer to encourage root growth but not leafy top growth and mulch, mulch, mulch to preserve moisture. Be careful not to pile the mulch around the crowns of the plants.
· No matter what type of soil you have, now is the time to amend it for spring growth.
· Compost is the addition of organic, nutrient matter that is made up of leaves, grass, sterilized manure etc. that has decomposed into small pieces. It provides nutrients for the plants as well as helping to break up clay soil by allowing air to penetrate so the water drains through.
· Resist working wet soil. It only compacts it more by eliminating those air pockets that help soil drain.
· If you are amending soil that already has plants, loosen the soil lightly between plants but not in the location of the root balls and apply ½” of compost. Do not pile the compost against the plant crowns.
· Add compost twice a year, now and in the early fall. Feed groundcovers, shrubs, roses, perennials, and trees with slow-release food (compost, bone meal, cottonseed meal, blood meal, or well-rotted manure) to provide plants with consistent and gradual nutrition throughout the season.
· Finish pruning your roses and spray with dormant spray to help prevent rust and black spot and over wintering bacteria. Plant bare root roses now. Fertilize established roses about mid-month but water thoroughly the day before and the day after the application.
· Finish pruning deciduous trees and remove crossing and weak branches.
· Remove tree stakes after 1 year and remove stakes that are bent or broken. They are not doing anything helpful except being an eyesore.
· Pull weeds before they increase with spring growth and before they set flowers and seeds.
· Start tomato seeds indoors. Damping off of seedlings can be cured by watering several times with chamomile tea. Steep one tablespoon of dried chamomile in six cups of boiling water. Cool to lukewarm or cool before using.
· Sharpen all of your tools and oil them.
· Bait for snails…the more you eliminate now before they lay their eggs, the less you will have later!
· Wash out old pots and trays with a solution of bleach and water to kill bacteria. Rub the clay pots lightly with linseed or clear oil to bring them back to life!
· Now is the time to fertilize trees, shrubs, vines. Add phosphorous according to directions.
· Burmuda grass will green up when the temperature hits 65 degrees.
· In mild climates, it is not advisable water lawns or plants in the late afternoon or evening as it will increase your risk of mildew and fungus.