Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spring Already?

Spring comes around fast in the Tampa Bay area, as it seems like just a few weeks ago we had freezing temperatures and brown landscapes. Now with 70+ degree weather and ample rainfall in January, it looks like Spring has sprung. You can now cut back your cold damaged plants, if you haven't already, but don't remove that "dead" plant just yet. Some of our more tropical plants die back severely, but can come back to life. If you're not sure, wait a few more weeks, time can save money.
Now is a great time to fertilize the landscape and treat the turfgrass for weeds. Insects are not a big problem yet, in the turf, but keep vigilant. Some of the waxy leaf shrubs are coming out of the Winter with scale insects and be on the lookout for caterpillars as the new flush of foliage, on other plants, is like candy to my grandkids.
This time of year is perfect for tree evaluations because you are able to see any mistletoe that needs removed, spot misguided branches, and monitor the new growth.
For most of us, we still have 2 days per week watering allowance and the landscape surely needs it now, so calibrate your system properly for the 1/2 to 3/4 inch of water per event, check the efficiency often, and don't waste our precious commodity.
Remember to cut your grass as high as your mower will allow, as this promotes deeper roots and will give you a thicker, healthier lawn.
Enjoy this "Chamber of Commerce" weather and Happy Gardening