February 2019 Newsletter: Design | Things to do in the Garden

Design and Re-Design:


If you want to create and plant your own landscape VerdeGo makes it easy! Our custom plant signage gives a wealth of information on plant size, lighting requirements and salt and deer tolerances. Our Garden Center staff can show you a variety of selections that will work in your area. Things to keep in mind for the do-it-yourselfer is to choose plants that will stay the appropriate size for your area, know the lighting for the area to be planted (sun, shade, morning sun, afternoon sun) and whether you have deer or salt issues to factor in.

VerdeGo’s Design Center also offers FULL SERVICE Landscape Design and Installation. Everything from landscape design and installation, paver patios, driveways and walks, stone and paver wall systems, landscape lighting, irrigation systems, custom pergolas, paver sealing and more! Simply stop by or call or office for an appointment with one of our Designers. Always a free estimate! For our St. Augustine customers- give us a call at our Bunnell location to set up an appointment. We provide all our services in St. Augustine despite our retail division no longer being there!

Things to do the Garden

Wait until the end of February/ early March before fertilizing your plants, palms and trees. We recommend Nurserymen SureGro slow release granular Palm Fertilizer 8-4-12, 6-8-10 for blooming trees and flowering plants. For those customers beachside use the 12-4-12 Nurserymen SureGro fertilizer. It is more adapted to high salt areas.

Trimming:

Deciduous trees (like elms and crape myrtles) and some shrubs may be pruned now with some exceptions such as azaleas, gardenias and hydrangeas and any other spring bloomers. Trim camellias only if they are done blooming. Reshape your hedges now as there will be a large flush of growth happening in another 3-4 weeks and you won’t have to look at twigs quite as long when they flush out.

Click here for a blog article on Pruning Tress & Shrubs

Trim Crape Myrtles toward the end of the month if necessary. Trim lightly to shape, remove crossing branches and suckers. Topping Crape Myrtles will not only shorten the life of the tree, create fewer flowers it will result in long, leggy weak growth that will bow over when flowering especially in heavy summer rains.

Click here for a blog article on Pruning Crape Myrtles

Pruning Citrus is not required however it can be done in late February or early March. Selectively prune the citrus tree- no shearing! Find a growth bud and make an angled cut just above it. Do not be afraid to keep the tree shorter to make picking easier.
Citrus is not completely cold hardy and young trees (under 5 years) should be protected whenever temperatures are below freezing. Cover the graft as well as the top of the tree. Water the tree well the day before to assist with moisture aspiration from the freeze. In addition, trees that have a large amount of fruit on them are less cold hardy as most of the nutrition goes into the fruit which makes the trees weaker.

As mentioned citrus trees are grafted with the top of the tree being the scion that are added to a variety of rootstocks. NEVER allow rootstock (below the graft) to grow! This will cause your tree to get taken over by the rootstock and you will no longer have an orange or grapefruit or whatever. If you are unsure if it is coming from the rootstock you can tell from the leaves- leaves on the main tree will be single whereas leaves on the rootstock are trifoliate (or three grouped together). If in doubt, ask us!

Citrus becoming ripe this month will be Temple Oranges, Dancy tangerines, Honey Murcott Tangerine, Minneola (Honeybell) Tangelo.

Bugs:

Plants are not the only things waking up after winter. Bugs are coming back so remember to continue to “scout” your yard. At least once every 10 days, wander around your yard and check the top, undersurface and stems of your plants. A small amount of bug damage can turn into an epidemic if left untreated too long. If you are in doubt about what is happening to your plants- bring us in a sample and we can guide you in the right direction.

CHECK LIST
• Check all your tools for rust and debris. Clean them up and sharpen if needed. Sanitize all pruners with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide prior to use and between trimming to prevent the spread of disease.
• Reapply 2” of mulch in areas that have become bare over the winter. New mulch not only freshens up the landscape it will help deter spring weeds and help with moisture control during the heat of the summer.
• Collect fallen leaves or pine needles from your lawn in sunny locations to prevent damage to the grass. In shady areas where the grass doesn’t grow- leaving the pine needles or leaves is not a problem.

Next Section: Wildlife | Lawn Care