Monday, January 14, 2019

We Ready, We Ready, We Ready For Spring

Horticulture Hotline 01/14/19
By Bill Lamson-Scribner

Are you ready for the 2019 season in your yard?

Here are a few things to do on the nice winter days (you know Charleston, one day nice next day not so nice).

·        Get soil tested – how do you know what to apply if you don’t know what you have in the soil already. Do you have a well that could be adding salt to the landscape? Have you been flooded with salt water? If yes, be sure to test for sodium.
·        Kill winter weeds now while they are young and your grass is dormant.
·        Get ready to preemerge in February. Kill small seeded summer annual weeds before they take over your landscape. If you didn’t use a preemergent product in the fall, go ahead and use one now to stop any more winter weeds from germinating and to get a jump on crabgrass and other summer annual weeds.
·        Brown Patch / Large Patch is still very active in the Lowcountry. The heavy rains and warm temperatures have helped this disease persist.
·        With all the rain, identify areas that you need to work on drainage issues. There are some products that can make this job very easy.
·        Do you have Sweetgum Trees? Would you like to reduce those nasty spiny gumballs? Now is the time to use Snipper. Snipper will greatly reduce the number of balls your tree produces. Timing is crucial and the time is now
·        Take mower in to have serviced to beat the Spring rush. With the new ethanol gas lawn mower engines and other engines have had issues. No one likes their mechanic to tell them, “pick it up in 4 weeks.”
·        Keep leaves off lawn areas. Keeps moisture from being trapped and if you or your lawn service are applying products, you will have a more uniform coverage without the leaves.
·        Move any shrub or tree now before it is too late. Root prune now, move before they start putting on new growth. Try DieHard Transplant to help survival.
·         Spray trees and shrubs with paraffinic oil (ultra-fine, Omni Supreme oil) as opposed to petroleum oils (Volck) to control over-wintering insects. Watch temperatures. If you have ongoing issues with scale, aphids, white flies, or other sucking bugs, try Safari or Dominion for long term control. I like Neem oil because it works on diseases as well as insects.
·        Have you tried Lime / Sulfur spray around the ground of deciduous plants that get diseased (do not spray foliage – just the ground)? Roses and blueberries or any plant that gets leaf spot disease are good examples of plants that benefit from this sanitation practice.
·        Sharpen pruning tools or purchase new ones.
·        If you haven’t already, get your bulbs in the ground.
·        Apply SeaHume to turf, trees, flowers, and shrubs. Adding organics now will help in the spring. Cotton Burr Compost?
·        Re-do bed lines to reflect maturing landscape.
·        Get bird house ready for nesting birds.
·        Have moles, get Mole Patrol – it really works. After you use Mole Patrol, use a repellent like Repellex monthly to keep them out.
·        Have deer, get Deer Stopper – it really works.
·        Check irrigation or get on professional’s list to check. Be sure the heads are pointed the right way. Can you eliminate (turn off) the zone watering the shrubs and trees? Have you tried wetting agents to lower your water bill (we hear between 30 and 60 percent)? Less water equals less disease.
·        Prune Crepe Myrtles – don’t butcher them. Remove crossing (rubbing) limbs, inward growing limbs and diseased limbs. Topping or reducing their height is not considered proper pruning.
·        Hold off on pruning plants damaged by the cold – we could still have freezing temperatures.
·        Test well for salt, if you own a well.
·        Attend meetings of the Rose, Camellia, Horticultural Societies and other like horticultural societies.
·        Get out and enjoy our County, State and City parks as well as our local plantations.

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