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It is a great time of year to have soil tested to determine PH requirements. A good test reading should fall between 6.8 and 7.2. If your soil has too much acidity, apply lime to the soil for a healthy lawn and garden. For those of you who want to start a garden, start the design work now and order any seeds for new or unusual varieties. To protect roots in order to promote growth for the next season, keep mulch at least 3" thick. Watch for any upcoming freezes and make sure that plants are watered 24 hours prior to the freeze. Insects can be a problem for all gardens. In order to minimize these pest, till fallow gardens to expose dormant insects to killing cold temperatures. For vegetable gardens, start tomatoes and peppers from seed, and plant carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, and radishes.
It's time to complete maintenance on lawn mowers, chain saws, etc. Make sure the blades are sharpened, change out oil and spark plugs. Start flower or vegetable seeds indoors for transplanting in 4-6 weeks. Prune all dormant trees, shrubs, roses. DO NOT prune azaleas or climbing roses. Go ahead and fertilize Pecan trees and Citrus with a complete balanced fertilizer. February is the perfect time of year to transplant trees and woody shrubs. If possible keep pruning on the property and start a compost pile.
Your beautiful foliage and color, plant hibiscus and holiday gift plants like poinsettias. Citrus trees need to be installed this month with full sun and good drainage. Fertilize lawns and shrubs with a slow release (16-1-18 or 21-3-3) so fertilizer is available when the warmer months arrive. Once the azaleas, and dogwoods have completely bloomed you may prune and fertilize. Check seedlings this month. They should be in before mid month to assure production before heat stress occurs. Make sure all newly planted items are watered thoroughly to hasten growth.
Perform a weekly observation on the lawn for insects and disease, and watch for scale on camellias and white flies on gardenias. Remove dead blooms from flowers to inherence continuous bloom. Harvest all vegetables when they ripen. This discourages pests and disease. Fertilize palm trees. April is the month for showers, if it is rainy, shut off irrigation timers. Mow lawns at the proper height (3.5-4" for St. Augustine, 3.5-4" for Bahia).
Treat young mole crickets early in order to gain control later. Rematch to combat weeds. Mulch should be at least 3' deep. Fertilize plum, nectarines, and peaches with a 16-4-8 fertilizer. In sunny areas for St. Augustine sod, check for chinch bugs. Fertilize for the second time this year with 16-1-18 or 21-3-3. Plant summer herbs such as sage, marjoram, oregon, basil and mint. Make sure herbs are planted in a sunny location. Make sure all plants receive an adequate amount of water.
Prune azaleas before flower buds develop for next spring's bloom. Prune hydrangeas, gardenias, and hibiscus after they finish blooming. Pinch tips of shrubs to encourage fullness, particularly in shady areas. Monitor rainfall, you may not need to use a irrigation system. Watch for manganese deficiency in palms and cicadas (sagas). Inspect for chinch bugs.

Make sure that mole crickets are controlled. This is the last month to gain control and expect good results.  Remove any weak or dead limbs to prepare for hard rains and storms. Plant only heat tolerant flowers such as impatients. Be on the look out for aphids on vegetables and flowering annuals.
During wet period keep an eye out for fungus (brown areas in lawns). Start seeds for fall or the cool-season gardens. Pinch back tips of poinsettias and chrysanthemums to create bushier plants and healthy blooms. Watch for the twig borer on dogwood trees. Prune faded crape myrtle blossoms to encourage second blooming. Plant grass seed now if you want good results. Water daily potted plants. Test PH in vegetable garden to see if lime is needed.
Fertilize (8-8-8, or 10-10-10) young trees and shrubs to increase cold hardiness. Apply a final fertilizer for the year to lawns. Do not prune poinsettias after September 10th, as it may interfer with flowering in December. Divide bulbs to reduce competition and promote blooms. Most bulbs need a resting period, however Amaryllis do not, so replant them immediately. Divide daylilies and replant. Inspect hibiscus, gardenias, and indian hawthorne for scale.
Plant cold hardy trees and shrubs to give them a long establishment period before spring. Keep inspecting for pest. Insects will feed heavily to prepare for winter. Transplant perennials. Mulch heavily and keep the soil moist to hasten establishment. Use fallen leaves for compost and mulch. Remove and store caladiums. October can be a dry month, watch for water stress.
Plant strawberries for a spring harvest. Reduce irrigation during cool weather to one half of your summer application. Watch for scale on camellias, hollies, and pittisporum. To enjoy a green winter lawn, sow ryegrass now. Sow rate at 10 pounds per every 1,000ft. Remember to mulch plants for cold protection. Use pineneedles or leaves for inexpensive mulching. Make sure plants are covered with at least 3' of mulch. Check evergreens for mites. Plant carnations, dianthus, pansy, and snapdragons for winter bloom.
Now is the time to transplant small trees and shrubs during their dormant period. Make sure plants are watered at least 24 hours before a freeze. This will help to increase their cold tolerance. Prune dormant fruit trees and young ornamental trees now. Mow and fertilize ryegrass. Place holiday plants in good sunlight and cool tempatures for long lasting blooms. Utilize fallen leaves for mulch or add them to a compost pile.

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