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Despite the Lingering Winter, You Can Still Get Busy

Gardening Tips from GardenLine with Randy Lemmon

Enough Already!!!
Are you as sick of winter as I am?
I have to admit that, while I normally like the "down time" we have in December and January, I usually look forward to February because I know — statistically speaking — that we can normally start gettin' busy with landscape work, veggie gardens and lawn fertilization.
February 2013 was a perfect example because we experienced a warmer-than-normal winter. We can't say that for this year, right!? There's another serious cold blast headed our way this weekend, if you trust the weather forecasters. For me, that means we can't get as busy this week as I would have wanted to. However, don't use it as an excuse — there still are a number things we can do prior to this hopefully final cold spell.
To get you revved up, hoping that this will be it for the cold, here are a pair of to-do lists for the next two weeks:

  • You can and should apply pre-emergent herbicide on lawns and beds.
  • You can and should do tree pruning and deep-root feeding.
  • You can and should have had beds built (and resting) for veggie gardening.
  • You can and should have put out tulips.
  • You can prune crape myrtles.
  • You can continue to use cool-season herbicides like Bonide Weed Beater Ultra.
  • You can put down organic fertilizers, like Micro Life or Sweet Green if you simply must fertilize.
  • You can and should have used dormant oil on plants with any signs of scale from last year.
  • You can plant containerized trees.
  • You can get your already-built vegetable and landscape beds covered in mulch.
  • You can put down humates to improve soil or break down thatch.


  • Wait another week or two to apply early green-up fertilizers like 15-5-10.
  • Wait another week or two to prune roses.
  • Wait another week or two to prune fruit trees, especially citrus.
  • Wait another week or two to plant late-blooming bulbs like amaryllis and crocus.
  • If you forgot to apply pre-emergent herbicide early in February, get it done now.
  • Prepare to "scalp" the yard to avoid thatch buildup this year. (Bag the clippings, too.)
  • If you do scalp, do a humate application. Yes, again.
  • Don't feed azaleas yet, unless you're convinced they are done blooming.
  • Start cheating Mother Nature with veggie transplants (like tomatoes) now.

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