The recent warm weather just after the rains has given our landscapes a jump-start this spring! Many of the fruit trees are blooming 1-2 weeks early this year. The lawns are breaking dormancy already. This is a great time to have your lawn aerated (we can help with that!) because the soils are moist but not so wet that the aerator damages the lawn.
What pests to watch for: Watch for signs of snail and/or slug damage and treat if nneeded. They begin to become active at temperatures above forty degrees (40°F). Get your bait or traps ready. Pick up spent camellia blooms to help prevent blossom blight.
Safety Tip! Do not allow small children or pets see you apply baits as they often want to investigate what you are doing. It is also wise to avoid putting baits in piles. By spreading baits out they tend to be more effective and less attractive to children and pets.
Planting! Early February is still favorable for most bare root stock however by late month many varieties will begin to push out new growth. This is critical as bare root plants need time to generate new feeder roots before shoot growth begins. Watch out for bare root stock Sold in grocery stores as these plants are often stored indoors. The warm indoor temperatures cause the plants to resume growth early. Do not buy plants that show signs of active bud growth as their survival rate will be low, and if they survive they will be stunted. If you can’t pass up the bargains, then be sure to remove as many buds as possible so the root system has a better chance to catch up and become established. Divide perennials before they resume growth.
What needs fertilizer? Fertilize fall planted annuals with a low nitrogen liquid fertilizer to promote blooming. Liquid fertilizers typically work better than granular in cold soils because they are more easily taken up by the plants. Do not fertilize camellias, azaleas, or rhododendrons until they finish blooming. Apply a high nitrogen fertilizer to dormant fruit trees.
Are there things to prune? Finish pruning fruit trees and roses. Prune ornamental flowering trees after they bloom. Severe pruning to renovate a hedges should be done this month. Remember, the hedge should be narrower at the top than the bottom to keep the hedge full. Avoid pruning maples and birches at this time as they may bleed.
As always, please reach out to us with any further questions!