This is the time of wacky weather in Georgia; Cold one minute and hot the next.
Don’t let the weather get you down about landscaping. There is still plenty to do during this time of the year!
SOD Depending on what type of sod you have, you will need to do a little maintenance. Warm season grasses such as BERMUDA, ST. AUGUSTINE, and ZOYSIA just need to have all leaf debris removed. You want to keep all leaf debris off this turf because water can build up and fungus. Fungus is a real pain to treat later down the road! Cool season sod like FESCUE needs to have a healthy dose of nitrogen. It’s not a bad idea to go ahead and add Pre-emergent now. Pre-emergent with Barricade is the best for the winter time application. Only problem with pre-emergent is that with us having days with Spring like weather, the weeds may have sent out their first roots already and then it will not work. If you do see a few weeds that have decided to rear their heads out of your lawn, just pull them up and get rid of them! Ornamental grasses such as Fountain Grass, Pennisetum, and Pampas grass should also be cut back 12-18 inch stems to encourage new growth.
TREES No matter the tree in general, it’s time for pruning. Any dead wood or any low hanging branches can be removed at this time. Make sure if you choose to prune you do it right. Tomorrow, I will post how to properly prune a tree.
SHRUBS If you haven’t started pruning your shrubs, now is the time. Your shrubs will include Crape Myrtles, Hollies, Roses of all types, Hydrangeas that bloom in winter like Annabelle Hydrangeas, and Butterfly Bushes to name a few. Crape Myrtles especially need to be pruned during this time so that they don’t grow out of control later in the year and it helps with their shape during the summer bloom cycle. Southern Living.com has a great blog post by Steve Bender (The Grumpy Gardner), that walks you step by step on how to prune your Crape Myrtle. Lilac can be dusted with with concrete dust at this time and roses with lime. Lime is a good chemical for Georgia soil and great for roses because it helps them absorb the nutrients in the clay soil. The shrubs you don’t want to prune are.. azaleas, summer blooming hydrangeas, Fothergilla, Jasmine, Mountain Laurels, or any shrub that blooms early in Spring.
INSECTS Bugs start to really emerge, especially when there isn’t a really good freeze during the cold season. Treat all shrubs with an oil spray to reduce the population of insects like white flies. Neem Oil is a good insecticide to use. Only spray Neem Oil in the morning, evening, or on a cloudy day. As with any insecticide, please take caution and read all warnings before use. It is also a good time to apply granular insect killer around the perimeter of the house to address any ant, fleas or other insect populations. A cheap trick with ants is to draw a line around your trashcans or entrances to your home with chalk. Ants hate it and it will keep them out.
February is a good time too to start deciding on what fruits, shrubs, vines, and trees to plant for the coming year. Blueberries, raspberries, grapes, apples, and peaches all grow in Georgia. These gardens can be fun, but do require a good deal of work.