Landscaping horticulturists offer gardening tips

Published 11:22 am Saturday, February 28, 2009

Aren’t you glad you live in Alabama? Signs of spring are emerging everywhere —flowering plum, quince, forsythia and blooming daffodils. With spring though comes lawn maintenance.

February was the time to pre-emerge your lawns, and again in early April, to keep back weeds and foster healthy grass. Fewer weeds spell less mowing when summer heat arrives. The fertilizer in pre-emerge grows strong roots, so less watering may be required. The result will be a beautiful lawn, and a cost savings return.

If you failed to fertilize azaleas and camellias last fall, then it’s too late for this year’s blooms. Wait until after their blooming and then use granules specific for those acid-loving plants.

Does this all sound confusing? There’s help.

Last week I spent time with Glenn Knight, retail landscape manager at John Deere Landscaping on Highway 119 in Greystone. Community education is inherent in his business. His staff includes horticulturists and Master Gardeners; many are Auburn University graduates. They offer home consultation on landscape design and handouts. Classes will be offered later in the spring.

“People are staying home more; buying fruit and berry plants, getting ready to plant gardens, grow their own food,” Knight said. “We will have seeds coming soon.”

My sister provides a tip for those with really limited space or for planting in poor soil: submerge large clay pots 2/3 way into soil, add topsoil and then plant herbs, tomatoes, peppers, just about anything. Weeding will be minimal, and the herbs will not spread.

So, get going with the spring program.

John Deere Landscaping offers 10 acres to explore, including larger trees, shrubs, fruit trees, blueberries, fig, flowering plants, landscape stone and irrigation products. For information, call John Deere Landscaping at 991-3980.