William "Bill" Doty

Garden tips for this odd winter season

THE GARDENING TIPS for this time of the year are a little different from last year. Due to the unusually warm weather we had at the end of 2014, many plants and trees are showing signs of an early bloom. That can be a good thing, but make no mistake: Florida’s cool frosty nights can continue well into March, so it’s a good idea to be prepared as our “cool” fronts roll through the region.

Along with some normal gardening tips, here are precautions to keep your plants and lawn safe in the event we have an unexpected cold snap in the near future.

One of the best pieces of advice is to watch, react, and take care of things that might be damaged by any cold temperatures. Be ready to cover your plants and trees in the event freezing temperatures roll through our area. Also, now would be a good time to reapply a winterizer product to promote a stronger root system and provide some added protection from a surprise cold front.

While these needs are important, there is still some regular maintenance that must be done to keep your lawn and garden healthy. If you have grape vines, now is the time to prune them back. Trees and shrubs also are at their most dormant now and should be pruned or transplanted.

This is a great time of year to pick up some azaleas and put them in the ground. You might also want to continue feeding vegetables and annual flowers lightly every two weeks.


column by 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.

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