A still photo from an instructional video by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture shows proper pruning of smaller limbs of a crape myrtle. Watch the video at the link provided in this article.

Let’s get your soil sample to the lab and get growing! This is an important step for a healthy lawn, landscape and vegetable gardening. Our growing season is just a few short months away – it will be here before we know it.

It is also time to plan seed production and order seeds. It’s a good idea to get your seeds ordered early due to potential seed shortage.

It is now time to prepare rose beds for later planting in January or February. Make sure this area receives proper sunlight and good drainage.

This is also a great time to check all your house plants for insects. We should rotate our house plants a half turn every month for plant health and proper growth.

We have a couple of other items that might need attention, given the high winds we recently encountered. Do a full assessment on all trees, and check for any damaged limbs that are partially detached from the tree.

It is also a good time to remove all low-hanging moss from the trees as well.

To minimize fungus issues on the lawn, keep all limbs, leaves, pine straw and debris removed weekly. Maximum airflow is needed for the lawn to prevent moisture accumulation and fungus.

Note the required amount of sunlight that is required year-round to promote a healthy lawn:

• Bermuda and Centipede both require 8 plus hours of direct full sunlight

• St. Augustine requires 4 plus hours of direct sunlight

• Zoysia requires 6 plus hours of direct sunlight

If your lawn does not receive the required amount of sunlight, prune and limb up trees to allow the most sunlight for the lawn.

If you find that, even with pruning, you cannot receive the correct amount of sunlight for the lawn, maybe it’s a good time to consider an alternative landscape plan.

One big item on our chore list is the pruning of crape myrtles. So many gardeners, and even professional landscapers, new to the South do this incorrectly, which is not good for the tree.

For the health and longevity of this Southern-staple tree, check out the guide here for proper pruning techniques:  and a video is included in this link: uaex.uada.edu/yard-garden/resource-library/crapemyrtle/pruning. There’s even a video to show you how to tackle this task.

Mark Deloach is the owner of Lawn Doctor of Beaufort County.