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Forest, VA
 
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Spring is on the Way!

The worst of Winter seems to be over, we hope.  Warmer days are in sight.  The question now is how much damage cold and snow did to our trees and shrubs.  And the answer is, I believe that it did more good than harm.  Most of the damage was done by people  trying to get the snow off shrubs.  In most instances if left alone the snow would have melted in a couple od days and no damage would have occurred.  You may have seen burn, a bronze color, on the leaves caused by cold and wind.  This is nothing to worry about and will be replaced by new growth later in the Spring.

There will be some broken limbs on shrubs and trees.  These again are nothing to be alarmed about, unless it affects a big section of the plant.  In any event, no big hurry, these should be cut out of  the plant as soon as possible.  Once the damaged portion is removed then the decision is whether to live with what's left or to remove and replace the plant.

The rather wet winter may have caused more damage to the lawn than to shrubs.  This is especially true if you have dogs or a lot of traffic on a wet lawn.  Again, there is not much that can be done now but to wait until the grass starts to green up.  If you have low spots where water stands then these need to be filled in and reseeded.  Bare spots will need to be reseeded.  Be patient and address the damage as you see it.  REMEMBER, new seeded spots should be kept traffic free for at least 3 months and 6 is better.  If you let the dogs and children roam in newly seeded areas the seeding is not going to be very successful.

Last but not least the cold has done more good than harm to our plants.  Plants used outside in our climate zone need a certain amount of cold hours to bloom and fruit.  Cold hours are hours when the temps remain below 32 degrees.  Without the cold hours the plant will not perform well.

So let Mother Nature do her thing and it will usually turn out well.

 
Maintenance Tips for Spring 2014

Gary's Lawn and Garden Maintenance Tips for Spring

Lawn and garden work will start in full swing with the warmer weather  and hopefully a few showers. Following is some helpful advice to use as the spring progresses.

1.  Lawn cleanup should now be complete.  Beds should be clean of leaves and other debris.  Beds should be freshly mulched and edged.  Dead and broken twigs and limbs should be cut out of shrubs and trees.  Now you are ready for spring.

2.   Pre-emergent crabgrass control should be completed by early April.

3.  If lime is needed it can be applied anytime.

4.  Now is an excellent time to replace dead or damaged shrubbery.  New inventories are in stock and you have excellent choices.

5.   If you have thin or bare spots in the lawn now is the time to reseed.

6.  If the lawn needs to be completely over seeded then do so as soon as possible.  We recommend applying seed, fertilizer and lime and then core aerating over the top.

7.  Weeds are beginning to show in the lawn.  The sooner you start applying a broadleaf weed control the easier the job will be.  Remember a couple of things.  If you are seeding the yard, seed should not put down 30 days before or after the broadleaf weed control is applied.  The other thing to remember about broad leaf weed chemicals is they are contact killers and only control weeds that are there the day they are applied.  They do not prevent regrowth.  You need to apply weed control several times each season in order to have a weed free yard.

8.  Best of all it is mowing season.  Try never to mow lower than 2 ½ inches and 3 inches is better.  Also, try to cut off no more than 1 inch of top growth.

 

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Plant of the Week-Azalea

AzaleaAzalea

  • Azaleas are called "the royalty of the garden."   
  • Azaleas are easy to grow. 
  • Azaleas come in a wide range of colors.
  • Azaleas will not tolerate alkaline soil and prefer a rich acidic soil with a PH level from 5-6.
  • The roots of azaleas need to be kept cool and moist, but not wet.
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