THIS PAST WINTER, if we want to call it that, was nearly nonexistent in Central Florida. That said, this doesn’t change the fact that there are several key items that need to be completed now to keep your lawn in tip-top shape.
Now is the time to be planting tender annuals and vegetables. Also, water is such an important resource these days, and here’s a tip you can use: reduce your water requirements by adding organic material (peat, manure, compost, etc.) before planting. This helps to store moisture and nutrients until plants can use them. Mulch also will help dramatically.
If you have existing mulch down, it is time to consider replacing it. This will control aphids on new growth of shrubs and fruit trees before the leaves become distorted.
It’s also time to apply weed and feed; chances are your grass needs it. If your lawn has been starving, it can cause many problems. A quality 16-4-8 formula is what I recommend if there is no fungus present, but if you’re not sure if your lawn has fungus, then just bring us in a dry sample and we’ll identify it.
Make sure you fertilize azaleas and camellias after blooming with a special acid fertilizer and prune azaleas to shape. Give your palms some extra manganese, magnesium, and potash for good, green color.
It’s also a great idea to spray woody shrubs and trees — especially fruit trees — with a quality nutritional spray for health and appearance.
column by WILLIAM “BILL” DOTY
BIO: William R. “Bill” Doty is 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 the readers of Central Florida Ag News monthly.
Posted March 11, 2016