Monday, March 26, 2012

Crazy Weather 2012

This weather is crazy. If we don’t get a hard frost, it will be crazy in a good way. The rains have been perfect to knock the pollen out of the air and off of everything else. My yard has several very large pines growing in it, and some dry years that pollen stays around and is so thick and all over everything, it is a huge mess. I’m lucky that I’m not allergic to the pollen, but I know many people during those dry years that can hardly go outside to get the mail.

With this warm weather I am regularly getting asked, “is it ok to put out my tomatoes?” I’m not able to answer this type of question. I have lived in the Lowcountry too long and seen mid-April freezes too many times. These late freezes have hurt our local tomato farmers and really nailed the peach crop further up above Columbia. If it did freeze, I would not think it would last for long and you could protect your plants; however, I do not know anyone who can accurately predict the weather.

The other question I’m getting asked, “is it too early to fertilize?” If you are looking to put out a high dose of high nitrogen fertilizer on your centipede or St. Augustine, I would say re-read above paragraph. If you are looking to fertilize, stick to your trees or shrubs for now. There are many products available to put on your turf to help it come out of dormancy nice and green and healthy without encouraging unhealthy growth that will make the grass more susceptible to disease or cold damage. Perk, SeaHume, Excellerator, and Possum’s Minors are a few very good products to use now.

As your plants, trees and turf begin to “leaf out” keep an eye out for insects and disease.

Just like you might remove the outer leaves off of a head of iceberg lettuce to get to the young tender leaves, insects and disease love that tender, new, young foliage. If you have lived in your house for a while, you might know the plants that come under attack year after year. Putting out a preventative product now might save you a summer of fighting disease or insects. Honor Guard and Cyonara will work as a couple of good preventive products. Neem is also a good natural option.

Mosquitoes are officially bad. Cyonara will help you with those blood suckers. Mosquito Repelling Granulars or Mosquito Beater are nice natural controls that give very good control.

Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.