Gardening This Weekend: February 22, 2018
Big changes are starting to happen. Watch this space in e-gardens each week. I’ll keep you completely updated as spring unfolds. As the weather allows over the next several days, here are your current assignments.
• Last call to dig and divide summer- and fall-flowering perennials before their new growth commences.
• Last call for digging and relocating established plants before spring growth hits full stride. Hold ball of soil intact around roots.
• Petunias, sweet alyssum, lobelias, larkspurs, stocks and other early spring flowers to allow longest possible flowering season before summer. Ornamental kale for foliar color as well.
• Finish planting cole crops. Plant leafy and root vegetables.
• Flowering quince, winter honeysuckle and other spring-flowering shrubs immediately after they finish blooming. Prune lightly and only as needed to shape.
• Dead or severely damaged stems of shrubs that were hurt by this winter’s cold.
• Newly transplanted (bare-rooted or balled-and-burlapped) trees and shrubs to compensate for roots lost in the digging.
• Liquid root-stimulator fertilizer should be applied monthly to newly planted trees, shrubs.
• Spring color beds with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food weekly to promote vigorous growth.
• Side-band rows of vegetable crops with high-nitrogen fertilizer to promote vigorous growth.
• Rye and fescue turf with all-nitrogen food for biggest flush of spring growth. Wait to fertilize warm-season grasses.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• Aphids congregating on tender new foliage and flowerbuds. Wash off with brisk stream of water or apply general-purpose organic or inorganic insecticide.
• Broadleafed weedkiller spray to control all non-grassy weeds in lawn. Most brands contain a blend of three different herbicides. One or two of them may be active through the soil and tree roots, so use with great caution. Types with 2,4-D only are usually sold only in independent retail garden centers. They may be safer for areas with many trees. Read and follow label directions carefully.
• There is no control at this point for annual bluegrass and other winter weedy grasses. Apply a pre-emergent herbicide in the first week of September to stop them. See related story this issue.