Garden Tips: Before Spring Makes its Grand Entrance

It’s February, which means it’s planting time in your garden.  Get busy by putting your tender annuals in the ground now, as well as fertilize your fruit and shade trees.

Before you go plant-crazy for the impending spring season, however, you’ll want to have your soil pH checked.  Most plants like a pH of 5.5 to 6.5, and if you’re new to gardening this may not mean much, but it can make a positive difference on the health of your plants.  We’ll check that for free here at Doty Farm & Garden Supply in Winter Haven.  Please make sure the sample you bring in is completely dry.

Be sure to feed vegetables and annuals lightly every two weeks for best production.  You’ll also need to spray them weekly with a combination fungicide and insecticide.

Don’t forget to feed your bulbous plants, divide daylilies, and prune ragged poinsettias.  Azaleas will need to be shaped, then fertilized with an acid fertilizer when they finish blooming.

Before active spring makes its grand entrance, it’s pruning time for trees and shrubs— unless they’ve been damaged by our recent onslaught of winter cold.  You’ll need to wait until mid-March or April to tell how far back to prune the damaged ones.  Be sure to use pruning paint afterward.

Watch for those insects, especially spider mites, aphids, and caterpillars!  It’s an excellent time to use preemergence weed killers on lawns.

This column is sponsored by Doty Farm & Garden Supply.

BIO: William R. “Bill” Doty is the owner of Doty Farm and Garden Supply Inc., founded in Winter Haven in 1954. Bill graduated from Winter Haven High School and Florida State University.  Growing up, he learned valuable lessons in listening and asking questions and was a student of the family business. Bill shares his knowledge with his customers daily and with our readers monthly.