William "Bill" Doty

Getting prepared now for spring will help your garden grow

IT’S FEBRUARY, which means spring gardening is on many of our minds. Here are a few tips to help your yard and garden do their best this year.

Now is the time to fertilize your fruit and shade trees. Planting your tender annuals in the ground now also is a good idea, but before you dig into the impending spring season too much, you’ll want to have your soil’s pH checked. Most plants like a pH of 5.5 to 6.5, and proper pH levels can really make a difference with the health of your plants. The staff here at Doty Farm and Garden Supply in Winter Haven can check your soil pH levels for free! One word of advice about that, though: Make sure the soil sample you bring in is completely dry.

Don’t forget to feed your bulbous plants, divide daylilies, and prune poinsettias. Azaleas will need to be shaped and then fertilized with an acid fertilizer when they finish blooming. Also, make sure you include feeding vegetables and annuals lightly; about every two weeks makes for good production. You’ll also want to spray them weekly with a combination fungicide and insecticide.

It’s also pruning time for trees and shrubs. Be sure to use pruning paint afterward.

Overall, it’s been a warm winter, so it’s important to be on the watch for insects, especially spider mites, aphids, and caterpillars. Lastly, it’s an excellent time to use pre-emergence weed killers on lawns.

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.

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