Ask Burton: Q: What do I need to do to get my yard looking good for the spring?

A: As we roll into March, there are a few things we all need to do in the yard to keep it in its best look. Here’s a quick rundown on some things you really need to get done in the next couple of weeks.
• Get your pre-emergent down – You have two weeks to get this done at this point. Any pre-emergent applied after March 15th will not be very effective. Once a weed has sprouted, you’re too late! Apply Dimension for grassy weeds, Gallery for broad leafed weeds, or both to control almost all of the weeds which will sprout shortly.
• Fertilize your trees and shrubs – Apply our Covington’s Tree & Shrub Food to your beds at the rate of four cups per 100 square feet, and punch feed trees in the yard around the drip line with 1/2 cup per inch of the trunk’s diameter with the same fertilizer you used in the beds. Use specialty fertilizers on the plants which require or would like them. (In particular, palms, Japanese maples, large-flowering roses and azaleas/camellias/gardenias are types we recommend specific types of fertilizer to do their best.)
• Treat the broad leafed mess in the lawn that’s up right now – Apply ferti-lome Weed Out to turf areas only to kill these weeds, but there’s a catch! You need a couple of warm days and nights in a row for this herbicide to be effective – two to three days in which the temperatures stay around 50 degrees or warmer at night. Keep an eye on the forecast and you’ll be right on target.

Spring’s right around the corner – let’s all be ready!

Burton specializes in diagnosing and solving plant problems. If you have a question for Burton, please email him at and include photos showing the problem.