It’s almost go-time for the main growing season here in South Florida! Now’s the time to get the first of the warmer-season annual flowers in the ground and to prepare your February lawn and landscape for warm weather. Here are the tasks you should be focusing on this month.
- Add some color to your freshly-prepped flower beds by planting verbena, lobelia, and impatiens. They complement last month’s annuals well–use them to fill in areas where January’s flowers didn’t take, or give them a bed all their own. Bulbs can still be planted this month as well. Add more lily, crinum, and agapanthus bulbs to your garden to prolong their beautiful spring blooms. February is also a great time to split clumps of the bulb flowers you may have planted last month and space them farther apart.
- Our lawns sometimes suffer a bit over the dry season. You may want to consider replacing patchy areas with an alternative ground cover. There are plenty of excellent options for groundcover here in Florida that are more drought-resistant than many turf grass species and can tolerate a wider range of soil types and shade. Take some time to research and find the best choice for you so that you can repair dead patches. You’ve still got a chance to plant cantaloupe, eggplant, lettuce, spinach, peppers that you can harvest in late spring. Do it soon though–early February is your last chance to get these yummy crops in the ground.
- Is your lawn looking a bit drab and pale? This month is a good time to get in your first application of fertilizer. Fertilizers that are made with slow-release nitrogen will work well to give your grass a steady nutrient supply over time as the turf begins to come out of dormancy. Try to find a mix that has little to no phosphorus if possible—unless a test indicates that your turf needs it, it’s often unnecessary to apply phosphorus at this time of year.
- If you’re concerned about weed encroachment, don’t wait until you begin to see those dreaded sprouts show up amongst your grass to make a move. Use a pre-emergent weed killer this month to prevent the weeds from germinating in the first place. Mid-February is a great time to apply, since our temperatures will be consistently above 65 degrees. To keep your shrubs happy and their beds free of weeds, freshen up your landscaping with a new layer of mulch. This will also help keep moisture in the soil to get your plants through the last couple months of our dry season.
- It’s the month of love and romance—an excellent time to tend to your rose bushes! Prune them to get rid of any wayward branches, give them a more uniform shape, and get rid of dead or broken limbs. After you’re done, give your rose bushes some fresh fertilizer and mulch so that you’ll see some beautiful blooms in the next few months.
- Now that our coldest days are almost behind us, the citrus trees will need to be fertilized. It’s good practice to apply either a slow-release fertilizer once a year in early spring, or a regular liquid fertilizer once every two weeks from now until midsummer.
If you are like us, you are excited to begin landscaping and brightening up your lawn and garden for the spring weather. We have everything you need at Big Earth Landscape Supply – shop online or visit one of our area locations – and let’s get to work!