Lower South

January, 2014
Regional Report

Treat for Scale Insects

Scale insects are most effectively controlled on fruit trees, camellias, beautyberry, euonymous and other susceptible plants by dormant oil sprays applied in late winter but before blooms and leaf buds emerge. When using oil sprays, complete coverage of all branch areas is critical for good control. Avoid spraying oil within a day or two of a freeze.

Plant Onions

Late winter is onion-planting time. Select pencil sized sets and plant them one inch deep in a rich garden soil in a sunny location. It is important to keep them growing vigorously with plenty of water and regular feeding. The larger the plant, the larger the bulbs will be when the plants are induced to start forming bulbs due to longer daylength in early spring.

Train Climbing Roses

Climbing roses should be trained for an attractive, graceful look to the plants during the upcoming bloom season. Weave long canes through openings in trellises or arbors and tie them with jute twine or plastic/wire plant ties. Wait until after the spring flowering period to prune climbing or once-blooming shrub roses.

Topdress Lawns with Compost

A light (1/4- to 1/2-inch) covering of compost applied now will give your turf a boost this spring. It also will help cover the soil surface and deter spring weeds that will be germinating over the next few weeks. Some studies indicate compost applications also help prevent some turf diseases too.

Thin and Shape Shrubs

When pruning shrubs, first prune out any dead or damage branches; then thin out by removing about one-third of the canes or stems at ground level, removing the oldest canes only. Then shape the rest of the plant, but do not cut everything back to the same height. This helps to maintain a natural appearance.

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