As spring starts awakening, we have several chores to do at this time.
Start with pruning shrubs that have overgrown their place or overgrown the area (like growing above the roof line when they are supposed to be just four or five feet tall).
When we have these types of plants, we can cut them back to a foot from the ground and restart them over again. In about six weeks you will see new buds breaking.
If you have not pruned your crape myrtle yet, do so now. If you are just wanting to level out the growth on plants, wait! Otherwise, you could be cutting off flower blooms on early spring blooming plants.
Prune your rose bushes now by starting to remove dead or diseased branches, then remove small growth. Then, cut your bigger growth back to 15 to 24 inches, depending on how strong the bush is. The stronger the bush the more you cut back.
You should also prune perennials to remove old and dead growth as the new growth will be starting soon.
Now is the time to get flower beds ready for new plantings by removing dead annuals and working up the soil with organic matter, lime and a little fertilizer.
Lawns will need weed control applied at this time to remove any winter weeds that have germinated earlier and to help prevent early spring weeds from over taking the lawn.
By doing weed control at this time, you reduce the stress on the grass as it is starting to awaken and green up some. It really is not ready for fertilizer at this time, as the soil temperatures are still cool and the roots have not really started growing and aren’t ready to take up the fertilizer.
At this time, you might see grubs or mole crickets showing signs of damaging your lawn, so go ahead and treat for these pests. This will help keep the lawn from having many problems as it starts growing in about a month or so.
If you have not limed your St. Augustine, Bermuda or Zoysia in the past year do so now, as lime raises the pH of the soil.
Edward Poenicke is a retired Chatham County extension agent. This article is provided in collaboration with Lawn Doctor of Beaufort County.