Saturday, February 15, 2014

Mid February - Get Ready - Spring is Coming

Control small seeded annual summer weeds now with a preemergent product. Enough said!

Soil Test? Bring them to Possum’s for accurate testing and an easy to follow interpretation of the results.

We are about ready to be able to prune back our cold damaged plants. Wait about another two to three weeks and see if you can see any new growth emerging. We should be passed the last frost date (no crystal ball here), and your plants should (hopefully) have some visible new growth.

Get ready to mow down the Liriope.  Hedge shears or a lawn mower with a sharp blade is great for doing this.  Holly fern and cast-iron plant will also benefit from cutting back to remove old discolored foliage. I do not know why, but I can convince people to cut back their Liriope; however, trying to get them to cut back holly fern and cast iron plant is not as easy. I see more people pruning individual leaves than just cutting the whole plant back to the crown. The complete new growth from the cast iron plant and the holly fern will look as spectacular as the new growth from the Liriope. Get rid of all that tattered old foliage!  

After you have done some ‘Spring Cleaning’, SeaHume and Cotton Burr Compost with their loaded micronutrients and biostimulants should help your plants and turf come out of dormancy healthy.

Re-cut and redefine your bed lines. Bed lines are a basic element of landscape design.  They define your landscape. Well defined bed lines with just mulch can be very attractive even without plants. Bed lines can be defined by a clean trench with a shovel, wood, brick or steel edging. Plants grow, so bed lines need to re-defined periodically. If you have brick or steel edging, this may require that you remove plants instead of just redefining the bed line. 

Do not prune any spring flowering plants unless you want to sacrifice the flowers.

As temperatures allow spray your trees and shrubs with dormant oil sprays. These products will kill over-wintering insects and keep them from munching on your new spring foliage. Neem oil works great on some diseases as well.

If you have plants like Camellias (scale), Gardenias (white flies), Crepe Myrtles (aphids), Lantana (lace bugs) or any other plant that you know regularly turns black from sooty mold, consider drenching with Dominion Tree and Shrub for season long control of sucking insects. This systemic product is awesome!

Any plants infested with scale, consider using Safari and following it up with Dominion. Safari is a drench product that moves up through the plant very rapidly for a quick knock down of scale and other insects. I have seen it remove scale off of plants that have been treated with oils for over twenty years. Then treat with Dominion for long term preventive systemic control.

The spring walking tours throughout the Lowcountry will begin over the next month. These tours are a great way to get ideas for your on landscape projects, and a good way to enjoy a day looking at hidden treasures in the Lowcountry. Beaufort, Savannah, and many other areas have these tours if you want to add a little drive time through the Lowcountry to your tour. I would also highly recommend Georgetown’s Plantation Tours to anyone who has not been to that tour. I have had the privilege to work with most of these properties, and they are something to see. Of course, support our local tours first!

Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society              Invites you to a lecture on
By Dr. Fletcher Derrick Jr.
Where:             Berkeley Electric Cooperative Office
                        3351 Maybank Highway, Johns Island, SC 29455
When:  Sunday, Mar. 2, 2014
Time:   3:00 PM; Social – 2:30 PM
Admission:  FREE

Dr. Derrick has been growing roses for over 35 years and is an American Rose Society Consulting Rosarian and an Accredited Horticulture Judge. He has been featured in Post and Courier and has appeared on South Carolina ETV program “Making it Grow” discussing roses with Rowland Alston. In his spare time, he grows and takes care of his rose bushes in his home garden. Aside from growing roses, he also paints roses in his spare time.

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