February Landscape Cleanup Duties

Under this ice is a plant waiting to begin it's spring cycle of growth.  We're so excited!
Under this ice is a plant waiting to begin it’s spring cycle of growth. We’re so excited!

February to do list, like you need to be told what to do, but, really, the landscape will perform better if we get this work completed:

  • Pre-Emergent to the lawn to prevent new weeds, does not attack existing, add post-emergent for existing.  St. Augustine grass apply fertilizer for strong root growth like a 5-10-31 with a 10% Iron.  For our area of north Texas.
  • Container and ball-and-burlapped plants are hitting the nurseries and garden centers.  Get a jump on spring by planning and planting now.  Winter and early spring planting provides an opportunity for good establishment before hot weather sets in.
  • Don’t fertilize trees or shrubs just planted.  Wait until after they begin to grow, then only very lightly, the first year.  Most plants come from the nursery with an abundance of slow release fertilizers.
  • Bigger plant does not mean it’s better, in the garden center.   The biggest of the plants when compared to others of it’s size, often have girdled roots, or became root bound in the pot.   Medium and small sized generally establish faster and become a better performer in the landscape more quickly than large sizes.
  • Prune roses, Crape Myrtles in February except far North Texas, along the Red River or Pan Handle generally better to prune roses in March to early April after the worst and colder storms chances are past.
  • Start by removing dead, dying, and weak canes. Leave six to eight healthy canes and remove about ½ of the top growth don’t cut back to the same height.
  • February is a perfect time to plant container-grown roses;  fill in bare spots or not depending on what you lost to Rose Rosette, try something new this year a flowering Quince, or go crazy, plant a Viburnum (one of my favorites) .
  • Azalea, Quince and Forsythia pruning wait, until after finished flowering before pruning spring-flowering shrubs.
  • Follow these rules for pruning: (1) prune out dead or damaged branches first; (2) thin out by removing about one-third of the canes or stems at ground level, removing the oldest canes only; (3) shape the rest of the plant, do not cut entire plant back to the same height.
  • Don’t commit Crape Murder by topping, trim to allow air movement, dead canes and remove what is touching the dwelling
  • Fertilize pansies once again for continued flowering. Don’t forget to water as needed.
  • Potted plants, trees, shrubs, and cut flowers work wonders and will bring smiles on the receiving end of the Valentine gifts for nursing home residents, people you care about and those who are house bound.