This year has been a challenge with our fluctuating temperatures. We will most likely continue to see this weather trend – warm, then cold, then freezing temperatures and back to warm.

We do not advise installing new sod at this time; you will have much better results by waiting until the weather is consistently warm. Whenever you do get ready to add sod, make sure that you monitor the amount of sunlight the area receives to ensure you are putting in the proper turf-type.

Conversely, now is a great time to plant trees and shrubs! Make sure they are not planted too deep and do not use too many amendments.

Now is also the time to spray the fruit trees with horticultural oil. This will take care of insects. The horticultural oil should be applied only when the plants are dormant.

This is also a good time to prepare your planting beds. You might look into Snapshot 2.5 pre-emergent for landscape and container grown material. Make sure you read and follow all label instructions and verify your plant material is safe for this product.

In addition to applying this pre-emergent, now is a good time to select and schedule the application. We could potentially have a shortage of this product, so order soon.

As you look around your yard, you may see volcano-type mulching covering the roots and a portion of some tree trunks. This can cause airflow and nutrient issues for your trees and plants. You should apply mulch at a depth of 3 inches and allow 10 to 12 inches of room around the base of all trees and plants.

One yard of mulch will cover roughly 100 square feet at a 3-inch depth. The combination of a pre-emergent and mulch will minimize weeds and reduce maintenance needs during the growing season. This should be completed prior to our spring weeds germinating, approximately March 15.

Looking ahead to warmer months, notice your yard and your neighbors’ yards. You might wonder why does some grass do better than others? A well-trained turf professional can provide the facts related to turf.

Each turf type has specific needs – sunlight, mowing height, frequency of mowing, fertility, water and oxygen. If we follow the guidelines for “right plant, right place” and other elements that impact a quality lawn, you will be successful.

When you decide to renovate your turf, always think of what the tree canopy will look like over the next three to five years. Do you have all the necessary conditions that will foster a heathy lawn?

Contact a turf professional first and ask for best recommendations based on your specific site.

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