Kathy’s Gardening Guide: Be patient — spring is almost here


Spring temperatures and flowers are right around the corner! This week is even starting to feel warmer, but it is still too early to cut back the brown, frost-damaged leaves and branches in your yard. Resist the urge to pull out brown plants, and do not prune at all until the freeze season is over! The brown leaves help the plant to survive in case of additional freezes before spring growth begins.

Although early March is even safer, wait at least until after Valentine's Day before you consider pruning your plants. Then, look at the extended weather forecast. If temperatures are predicted to stay warm for the couple weeks ahead, it may be safe to begin cutting back your plants. Keep these tips in mind when helping your plants recover from the winter freezes:

  • Cold/frost burn causes the brown leaves. Many of these plants are not dead!
  • Once warmer temperatures are here to stay, prune plants down to at least where the first green shows. If you do not see green stems and leaves, the plant is most likely dead.
  • It can sometimes be difficult to determine if the plant is still alive. If you are unsure, allow three weeks for a plant to produce new growth. If there is still not new growth after a few weeks, remove and replace the plant.
  • Fertilizing is also important at this time. Be sure to follow the instructions on your specific fertilizer.

Remember to continue fertilizing your palms and citrus trees every three months. If you have not fertilized recently, February is a great time to give these plants some extra nutrients ahead of spring growth. Look for fertilizer that is specific to palm trees or citrus trees, and carefully follow the instructions on the label.

Finally, it is a good time to prepare your lawn for the coming spring and summer seasons. Use warm days to check your irrigation system for broken or misdirected sprinkler heads. Once temperatures will remain above 65 degrees for four to five days, it is important to apply a pre-emergent weed killer to your lawn. Note that this pre-emergent is not a “weed and feed” fertilizer; it is solely a weed treatment to help control weeds in your lawn throughout the coming season. For best results, it is important to time this application just as temperatures warm up.

Happy February!

Flower of the Week: Red Petunia

Please email Kathy at kcg.pvr@gmail.com for any questions or gardening tips you would like to see in the future. For more information & ideas, visit Kathy’s Creative Gardens & Nursery, 196 N. Roscoe Blvd. The phone number is 904-655-7373.


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