Everyone is getting antsy about getting outside but this is the weary month where you spend time getting ready for spring. The days are getting longer but the nights are still very long and cold.
Check that pile of tools where you pitched them last fall. Clean your shovels and rakes, sharpen blades, oil with WD-40 and hang neatly so they are available when you need them. Your lawnmower needs service, the blades need sharpening, the oil needs changing and belts need checking. Look through seed catalogs to see new plants to try or new food crops to grow.
If it is dry enough till the soil in the vegetable garden to prevent insects, weeds and nematodes. Add a layer of organic material; cow manure, peat moss, soil conditioner or humus from your compost pile before you till.
You can also send a soil sample to your county extension agent for a soil test.
Does your Bermuda have green grass starting around walkways and driveways? This grass is called Poa Annua or Annual Bluegrass. Poa Annua is a very invasive weed that reproduces from tiny seed heads that develops later in spring. It’s Very aggressive so you need to be aggressive getting rid of it. Pre-emergent herbicides are the best way to control Poa Annua. Starting in September with one application again in January will usually control most of your problem. Killing the seed before it germinates is your best defense.
Heavy pruning of trees and most shrubs can be done at this time. Do not prune spring flowering plants such as Azaleas,
Forsythia (yellow bell) or Flowering Cherry until after they have bloomed.
Prune apple, pear, and peach trees, removing dead limbs first, then the pencil size vertical (water sprouts) next.
Tip; just for fun take a few of the branches and place in a jar of water to force them to bloom.
Watch out for poison ivy when working outdoors. Even the leafless vine can cause a powerful reaction.
Keep the feeders full and make sure the birds have access to fresh water that is not frozen.
This is a great home made treat for birds- (let your kids help)
Melt; 1 cup lard or Crisco
1 cup peanut butter
Mix; 2 cups corn meal
2 cups oat meal (uncooked)
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
Add the peanut butter/ oil and mix well. You can stir in raisins, cranberries, and nuts. Pour into a 9x13 pan. Let cool then cut into blocks.
Don’t just wish for a beautiful landscape, make it happen! Call or come by the store for details on our Landscape Design program. If you get your plan now you will be good to go when the weather warms up.
If temperatures drop below 20 degrees cover Gardenias and Camellias with burlap or plastic all the way to the ground on all sides. Be sure to remove before the sun hits the plant next morning.