Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Home and Garden

Timely Tendings: Getting plants ready for fall early

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, and July 1 for later varieties. Fall flowers will not form if you continue to pinch later than this.

Fertilize shrubs: Now is the time to fertilize shrubs. Spread fertilizer evenly over the soil surface and water in. Follow with a fresh layer of mulch to conserve moisture and reduce weeds. Consult Fertilization and Irrigation Needs for Florida Lawns and Landscapes at edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep110 for more information.

Citrus care: Fertilize citrus and other fruit trees if you didn't in January. Frequency and amount of fertilization depend on the tree's age. Consult the following fact sheets for more information: "Citrus Culture in the Home Landscape" at edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs132 and "Deciduous Fruit for the Home Garden in Central Florida" at edis.ifas.ufl.edu/mg366.

Source: Theresa Badurek, urban horticulture extension agent, UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension Service. Learn more at askextension.org or pinellascountyextension.org.

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