Here are some gardening tips for spring.
- Do not pull out your lantana or red bird of paradise plants! If you planted them last year or the year before they are still new and will not spring out until it gets much hotter. Typically when the weather gets consistently above 50 degrees during the wee morning hours. However, if they are well established you should see some growth towards the bottom of the root system.
- It’s time to up the watering system on your lawn. Bermuda should be watered about 2-3 times per week. About 15 or 20 minutes on a good sprinkler system. Fescue needs a little more water. We recommend 3 times per week 30 minutes on your timer. Re-seed bare patches in your lawn. Use pre-emergent now to keep weeds seeds from germinating.
- Now is the time to go outdoors and check your plants. Aphids and other insects love the new shoots of all plants, yellow aphids love Oleanders. Use a good insecticide to kill them now before they multiply and infest your other plants.
- Check for plugged water lines. The earth moves, rocks, and debris can clog or pinch water lines. Call a reliable lawn and sprinkler guy to help fix water lines that you are unable or can’t do.
- Spider mites are another big problem. These small almost invisible mites will damage pines, junipers, and cypress trees. They thrive in dry hot conditions. If your plants look like someone threw a bucket full of brown sand on your plant…it’s probably spider mites. Use a good mite control insecticide to kill these nasty insects. You could also spray your plants with plain water…do once or twice per week until they are gone.
- It’s time to trim and remove the bottom fronds of most palm trees. Doing so will encourage new frond growth.
- Mulch garden beds. Mulch is top dressing to help retain water moisture and keeps weeds and crawling insects from entering your garden beds.
- Prune dead or damaged branches on fruit and ornamental trees. Hire a professional tree trimming company for medium to large sized trees.
- Add some manure or fertilizer to your shrubs for a quick burst of growth. For flowering plants use a fertilizer with a high content of phosphorus. BR61 will help any flowering tree, shrub or plant produce new flowers, this includes vegetables.
- Trim all your pink muhly and purple fountain grasses now. Other ornamental grasses should also be trimmed except for the pampas grass. The pampas grass needs only the top plume removed.
- Now is the time to plant your spring annuals. Petunias, Marigolds, Pentas, Gazanias, Calibrocha, Penstemon and a whole lot more.
- Spray dormant oil to suffocate insect larvae eggs from hatching.
Easy spring gardening tips
Things to look for in and around your garden area.
Aphids on Rose – They suck the life out of roses and other plants. Use a good systemic (applied into the ground) or spray insecticide to kill these bugs.
Yellow Aphids on Oleander – Used a good system insecticide to kill these aphids. You can also use a spray, however, sometimes these little yellow bugs will hide inside the new shoots of Oleanders. Thus making it hard for the spray to reach these little pests!
Photo By aroid from San Luis Obispo, CA, USA (Milkweed aphid, Aphis nerii) [CC BY 2.0 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AMilkweed_-_or_oleander_-_aphid%2C_Aphis_nerii.jpg, via Wikimedia Commons.
Grubs – These worms will eat the root system of grass, trees, and shrubs. Use a granular or spray Grub control to kill these worms.
Pine Tip Moth damage on Leyandii Cypress. It is actually the larvae of the moth that bores a hole into the new shoots of most conifers and cypress trees. Including Pinon, Ponderosa, Mugho and Afghan pines. The pines trees will start to turn brown at the tips of new growth. The pine needles will turn brown and look unsightly. Use a systemic insecticide to kill the larvae. A spray will not work since they are hidden inside the stem.
Spider Mite Damage on Italian Cypress – Use a good spray to kill these mites. But a spray will kill on contact. A systemic insecticide will take longer to do the job. It’s best to spray at least three applications to make sure they are gone.
Paul Guzman – Husband, Father, Grandfather, Gardener, and Webmaster of GuzmansGreenhouse.com