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Timely tendings: Prune azaleas, start spring and summer annuals from seed

Azaleas should be pruned when they finish blooming. Even the dwarf varieties benefit from pruning, which stimulates new growth, eliminates the leggy look and produces a bushier plant. Azaleas are generally fertilized four times a year (February, May, August and November). Those who missed the February fertilization can fertilize now to accelerate new growth, then skip the regular fertilization in May. Use a fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants.

With the frosts and freezes we had this past winter, there may be plants you need to replace. Try replacing with Florida-friendly plants that are right for your site conditions. The Florida Yards & Neighborhoods website at has an interactive plant database that can help you choose plants appropriate for your landscape conditions.

Nearly every spring we see oak leaf blister. The disease develops during cool, wet weather, becoming epidemic at times and infecting almost every leaf. Although the blisters may be unsightly and cause excessive leaf fall, this disease seldom causes permanent damage.

Winter annuals need replacing soon. It's not too early to start spring and summer annuals from seed. It is usually best to start seeds in a fresh, sterile potting mixture. It takes four weeks or so before seedlings are ready to be planted. Rejuvenate the bed by raking out all leftover plant material and adding new organic matter.

Timely tendings: Prune azaleas, start spring and summer annuals from seed 04/09/11 [Last modified: Friday, April 8, 2011 7:54pm]
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