• Fruit trees. (Best
time is just before bud break.)
• Wait to prune crepe
myrtles for more blooms till around Valentines’ Day.
• This is an excellent
time to prune that invasive trumpet vine or honeysuckle that is
threatening to take over your shrubs.
• Prune away dead
portions of houseplants.
• Check the potting mix
in pots that will be used to force bulbs indoors. The mixture should be
evenly moist without standing water. The easiest way to determine
moisture is to lift the pots. A dry pot will be lighter than a wet one.
• Spot water any dry
areas of your landscape to avoid plant desiccation, but do not overwater.
Overwatering encourages root rot.
• Water all plants and
the lawn in absence of rainfall.
• If a freeze is
forecast, well-watered roots are less susceptible to freeze damage.
• This is a good time
to eliminate slugs. Every slug left to roam the garden will reproduce
two hundred off-springs this spring, summer and fall. In addition, the
offspring will also reproduce young. So you can make a major reduction
in the slug population in your garden by eliminating them now.
• Spray fruit trees
with horticultural oil to kill insects, eggs, and larvae. Early winter
is a good time to make an application of Dormant spray to help control
over- wintering insect and disease problems. A combination Lime Sulfur
and Oil spray or Copper spray are the ones most often used for winter
dormant spraying. Do not spray when the temperatures are below freezing,
when it is raining or at a time when the wind is blowing.
• Watch for rabbit,
field mice or other rodent damage on lower trunks of trees and shrubs.
Control measures include tree wraps, mesh guards, baits, weed control to
remove hiding places and traps.
• Watch for grass
fungus (brown patch, take-off, etc.), FL Weed-Out, Spectrum Weed Stop.
• Pre-treat for early
season weeds – Late January: Spread pre-emergent herbicide, Balan.
• Hand pull winter
annuals such as common chickweed and henbit.
• Hand pull wild garlic
(wild onions) when the soil is moist to make sure the bulb is removed,
otherwise it will resprout.
• Watch for gray mold
on clustered plants in high moisture conditions, Daconil.
• Watch for
damping-off, HY Captan.
• Houseplants: mealy
bugs, spider mites, scale: insecticidal soap.
• If the ground is
friable, prepare vegetable beds for spring planting.
• If you are preparing
a new border, now is the time to mix compost, lime or other amendments
into the bed. Make sure soil is not wet. If it does not crumble easily
in your hand, let it dry out.
• Now is also the time
to prepare your site for roses. Make sure soil is not wet. Dig and work
the soil thoroughly over as large an area as possible. Spread a 2- to 4-
inch layer of compost or other organic matter. Add limestone to increase
soil pH (if recommended by soil-test). Mix material into bed 8 to 12
inches deep. Allow the bed to settle for a few days before planting.