Gnat Bytes:

Extension News for South East Georgia

New Year’s Resolutions for your Landscape

It’s time to make New Year’s Resolutions. Here are a some that you may want to consider for you landscape.

Water Responsibility– Consider the amount of rainfall that we are receiving and the needs of the plants. Automated irrigation systems are great tools that make our life easier, but it is only a tool. We must actively manage the systems settings. Over watering or under watering can both stress our landscapes. By not over watering you will reduce disease and insect damage in your landscape and help conserve natural resources.

Fertilizing to early-The tendency is to fertilize lawns at the first sign of spring green up. This is too early for our turf grasses and can cause damage. Wait to mid to late April or complete green up before fertilizing your lawn.

Responsible Pesticide use– Sound pesticide management options are another good resolution. Always start by identifying the problem. Then use the most environmentally friendly technique to control the pests effectively. Pesticides may be a short term solution. Often there are cultural techniques that may help you more in the long run.

Pruning– Many times we prune our shrubs and trees at the wrong time of the year. An easy to remember rule of thumb is to prune spring flowering plants after they bloom but before July 15. Summer bloomers(after May 1) or non-bloomers January through mid-September. Late summer pruning of most spring blooming plants will remove flower buds and ruin your chances of enjoying a flower show the next spring. Late fall pruning of evergreens will leave them looking uneven throughout the winter and even cause damage of new shoots and leaves that emerge to close to a frost.

By resolving to use irrigation and Fertilizer in a timely fashion and using sounds practices for pesticides and pruning we can make our landscape more beautiful and our gardening more enjoyable.

Please consider including some of these gardening resolutions in your list for 2016!

Contact your local extension office for more assistance or other ideas.