Gardening Guide

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Monthly Gardening Tips (Conventional & Organic) – February

This is a Great Time to Plant!

PLANT:
• Trees and shrubs so they will be established by summer. Avoid planting cold-tender plants such as: gardenia, oleander, and non-cold hardy palms. Transplant existing shrubs/trees that need relocating.
• Pecan and fruit trees, blackberries, and grapevines.
• Candytuft, hellebores, pansies, snapdragons, phlox, stock, dianthus, oxalis, heuchera & more for color.
• Herbs & cool-season vegetables such as onions, potatoes, asparagus, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, artichokes, spinach & more.

PRUNE:
• Trees as needed to remove mistletoe, dead or damaged limbs, and unwanted roots–limit removal to 1 or 2 significant roots each year. Don’t “top” crape myrtles & trees. Good time to prune Oaks to avoid Oak Wilt.
• Shrubs/vines needing heavy shearing/re-shaping (not spring flowering shrubs/vines e.g., spirea, azaleas, hydrangea, quince, forsythia, Caroline Jessamine, wisteria, which can be pruned after they finish blooming).
• Groundcovers: Asian jasmine, mondograss, and liriope to remove old and damaged growth. Scalp lawn late in the month.
• Rose bushes up to 50-60% and climbers according to variety. Remove diseased/dead branches from all roses.
• Fruit trees to encourage stronger limbs. Remove vertical shoots to 10’ on peaches/plums before buds swell.
• Grapes to remove 80% to 85% of their cane growth.

WATER:
• Container plants, beds, shrubs & trees as needed to keep healthy and before a freeze to reduce damage. To improve water retention, add Soil Moist & Expanded Shale (or Covington’s Soil Builder) when planting.
• Top dress landscape/flower beds with a 2-3 inch layer of mulch to help retain moisture, reduce weeds and maintain soil temperature. Keep frost cloth on hand & cover tender plants to protect from freezing weather.
• Trees installed for less than two years must have special care to ensure a strong and healthy root system. See our Plant Article on Tree Care for the First Two Years  or come by and pick one up.

CONVENTIONAL FERTILIZATION, PLUS WEED, DISEASE & PEST CONTROL SOLUTIONS

FERTILIZE:
• Annual & perennial flowers with Covington’s Premium Flower & Garden Fertilizer or Hi-Yield Blood and Bone Meal.
• Newly planted trees and shrubs every 3-4 weeks for the first year with Ferti.lome Root Stimulator.
• Houseplants with Ferti.lome 20-20-20 Water Soluble Plant Food.
• Existing ryegrass and fescue with high nitrogen Covington’s Premium Lawn Fertilizer 21-7-14
• Pecans at bud break with Hi-Yield Zinc Sulfate.
• Herbs and vegetables with Covington’s Premium Flower & Garden Fertilizer or Ferti.lome Gardeners Special.

WEEDS & DISEASE CONTROL:
• For grassy & some broadleaf weeds, apply Hi-Yield Dimension pre-emergent now to prevent most spring/summer weeds; use ferti.lome Gallery pre-emergent for dandelion & tough broadleaf weeds.
• Spot treat broadleaf weeds such as dandelion, henbit & clover in St. Augustine or Bermuda grass with ferti.lome Weed Free Zone (effective to 40º).
• Spot treat nutsedge and crabgrass with Bonide Sedge Ender.
• Keep fallen leaves off your lawn—they compact and trap moisture which can lead to turf diseases. Apply Bonide Infuse to St. Augustine for fungal infections such as Green Leaf Spot & Brown Patch. For added protection, spread ½ inch layer of Canadian Brown Sphagnum Peat Moss on infected area & water in.
• To prevent crown rot in palms, drench the heart of the palm with Ferti.lome Systemic Fungicide after the cold snap is over.  Use same product for powdery mildew, disease & fungi on hawthorn, photinias, roses, etc.
• Start spray program for fruit and nut trees. Use ferti.lome Triple Action or Bonide Fruit Tree Sprays.

INSECT & PEST CONTROL:
• Control aphids, spider mites, mealy bugs, other problem insects with Bonide Systemic Insecticide.
• For fungus gnats in houseplants, use Hi-Yield Systemic Insect Granules.
• For best control of scale use Hi-Yield Dormant Oil Spray or Bonide All Seasons Spray Oil.
• Kill borers in trunks of trees with Ferti.lome or Bonide Systemic Insect Drench which protects for months.
• For rabbits, use Rabbit Scram and/or Bonide Repels-All Spray.
• Use Hi-Yield Fire Ant Control on fire ant mounds and infestations.

ORGANIC FERTILIZATION, PLUS WEED, DISEASE & PEST CONTROL SOLUTIONS

FERTILIZE:
• Newly planted trees and shrubs with Liquid Fish & Seaweed to help prevent transplant shock, increase beneficial microorganisms, and encourage root development.
• Flowers, perennials, and roses with Happy Frog Acid Loving Fertilizer.
• Turf, shrubs & trees with Good Natured Texas 2-Step Fertilizer; or use Natural Guard All Purpose 4-4-4 for shrubs and trees.
• Vegetable gardens with Happy Frog Tomato & Vegetable fertilizer.
• Use Corn Gluten Meal 9-0-0 to feed turf and prevent weeds. Also spread Dry Molasses to enhance weed control and encourage healthy soil.
• Apply Garrett Juice Plus once a month to your landscape to increase beneficial micro-organisms in the soil and to reduce the need for water.
• Add Texas Greensand for deep greening in lawns, trees and landscape plants.

WEEDS & DISEASE CONTROL:
• Spot treat grassy and broadleaf weeds with 20% Vinegar. Add 2 oz. of Orange Oil per gallon of vinegar during warmer days to enhance the kill on weeds and grasses.
• Keep fallen leaves off your lawn—they compact and trap moisture which can lead to turf diseases. Apply Horticultural Corn Meal on landscape plants and vegetables for disease control.

INSECT & PEST CONTROL:
• Use Mosquito Bits Granules containing BTI for fungus gnats in house plants.
• Use ferti.lome Come and Get It Spinosad Bait for protection from fire ants. To treat individual fire ant mounds, use 3 to 4 ounces of Orange Oil per gallon of water as a drench.
• Spray Orange Oil in areas infested with pillbugs, sow bugs, ants and spiders.
• For cabbage loopers on cole crops, use Natural Guard BT at dusk or Spinosad.
• For bugs & fungus use ferti.lome Triple Action Plus containing Neem Oil. Safe to use on fruit trees.
• Protect ripening fruit from birds with Bird X Netting.
• Spray Bonide All Season Oil for scale on holly, crape myrtles & fruit trees.
• Control slugs & snails with Bonide Slug Magic or Sluggo Plus with Spinosad.
• Use Diatomaceous Earth for crawling insects.
• Use eco-friendly Armadillo Repellant in a convenient hose end sprayer to get rid of armadillos.
• Use Rabbit Scram and/or Bonide Repels-All Spray to deter pesky flower-mulching rabbits.

This is a great time to plant trees and shrubs, and our Garden Center is open 7 days a week to assist you with all of your plant wants and needs so you can be successful in your garden and landscape.

Or

Call our Landscape Services Team at (972) 475-5888 Ext. 5 for the following if you’d rather have our experts do the work for you:

  • Landscape design & installation
  • Irrigation services (LI21683)
  • Lawn, tree & shrub fertilization
  • Weed, disease, and insect control