In the midst of the holiday season, gardeners still have a few chores we need to do before the New Year.
Start with planting new shrubs and trees into the landscape. By planting now, we allow the plant to develop a large root system by spring and summer, so it can handle the summer weather better.
Remember roots keep growing as long as the soil temperature stays above 40 degrees.
Another job to complete is to add some new mulch to the old mulch to refresh what is there and to redefine the bed lines of the landscape. At the same time, remove any weeds, grass, trees and vines that might be in the beds.
You might still have some summer weeds and winter weeds germinating, so consider applying a herbicide to control these pesky plants while the temperatures are at the right range for all our herbicides that are available now.
If you have artichoke (Florida Betony) in your lawn, apply the herbicide atrazine to help with their control. This herbicide works slowly and might take three to four weeks before you see color change in the weeds.
This is due to the chemical going down to the roots of the weeds and killing them from the roots up. With artichoke, you can apply the herbicide at six week intervals but not closer.
Depending upon the amount of infestation of the artichoke weed, it could take two to four years to kill it all.
Mole crickets can still be active at this time so consider treating them if you see activity, pop ups of soil that break apart when you touch the soil, or if you see runs the height of a pen or pencil.
If you have holiday plants, keep them away from heat vents. Give them a sunny area during the day so they can replenish their food supplies, and so they can stay in darker areas during the evening hours.
When watering the plants, it is best to remove the container from the colorful foil covering and water them in the sink. This way, the excess water will drain out of the bottom of the plant and not get trapped in the wrapping. Replace the foil before putting the plant back in its chosen spot.
Have a happy and safe holiday season.
Edward Poenicke is a retired Chatham County extension agent. This article is provided in collaboration with Lawn Doctor of Beaufort County.