January 2013 has definitely started out warmer than past years. This burst of temperate weather has altered the way many of the bushes and trees around Central Florida are behaving. This month we will discuss how you may need to adjust the way you care for your plants this year.
The warm weather earlier this month has peaches, blueberries, and ornamentals in bloom ahead of schedule. Blueberry growers, peach growers, and home gardeners should resist the urge to fertilize or add days of irrigation to their already scaled-back winter schedule. We are still in the midst of freeze season here in Florida, and it’s during the bloom stage that blueberries and peaches are the most susceptible to freeze damage. An increase in either fertilization or irrigation could lead to some severe damage if the weather suddenly undergoes a dramatic change.
It’s important to take the necessary precautions to ensure that your plants will survive a late-season cold front. So, hold off on the fertilizer and an increase of watering until we are officially out the woods of our winter. If you still have other questions, make sure you get some advice from a professional who can determine the best course of action for your specific situation.
column by EVAN QUINN
BIO: Evan Quinn is a native Floridian who went to high school at Winter Haven High. He learned hard work and customer service from his labor on the family’s poultry operation while growing up. He has operated Quinn and Company Land Services, Citrus Nursery Management, and Central Florida Pest Management for the past 11 years.