Monday, January 22, 2018
Home and Garden

Timely Tendings: Caring for mums, citrus, fruit trees; pesticide basics

Tend to chrysanthemums now for showy plants later

If you planted some fall chrysanthemums, they will be putting out new growth soon. Small flowered varieties should have the ends of new growth pinched back once they reach 6 to 8 inches high. Unless these growing tips are pinched, plants may develop tall, weak stems that produce only a few flowers. After you pinch, new branches will develop along the stem. Pinch all shoots every two weeks until June 10 for early varieties or July 1 for later varieties. The fall flowers will not form if you continue to pinch later than this.

Feed citrus, fruit trees

Fertilize citrus and other fruit trees if this was not done in January. Frequency and amount of fertilization depends on the age of the tree. Consult the following fact sheets for more information:

Citrus Culture in the Home Landscape: edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs132

Deciduous Fruit Trees: gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/giam/plants_and_grasses/fruits_vegetables/fruit_trees.html

Follow pesticide directions

Reading a pesticide label is very important — even with organic pesticides. The label lists the pests to be controlled, how to apply and how much, and the precautions to take while handling and mixing the product. There are also instructions on what to do in case of accidents. Taking time to read the label may save the life of your plant or even your own life. Just because you can buy something over the counter does not mean that it can be used indiscriminately. Using more than recommended is NOT better. Following the label directions will also help protect Florida's fragile environment.

Compiled by Theresa Badurek, urban horticulture extension agent, UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension Service. For additional landscape and garden information, visit pinellascountyextension.org. For regular tips and information about what's growing in Pinellas, go to facebook.com/growpinellas.

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