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Landscape work for the month of February

POSTED: February 8, 2012 4:00 a.m.

Some people may think February is the slowest month of the year to work with your landscape, but really it's not.

February is a good month for doing dormant pruning of deciduous trees and shrubs (with the exception of spring-flowering plants that are pruned after they bloom).

Take time to make cuts selectively. Remove dead, diseased or damaged wood first, then waterspouts and suckers.

Then concentrate on the form of the plant by making thinning cuts as necessary.

Liriope on level ground can be mowed off with a lawnmower the last week in February.

This will remove old winter-damaged leaves and make way for new growth.

Make certain the lawnmower is set to the highest wheel setting and avoid mowing into the crown of the plant.

Don't mow after new shoots have emerged because mowing will damage them and cause new growth to appear unsightly.

Renewal pruning should be done in late February to shrubs that have overgrown their site and need to be reduced in size.

Many broadleaf shrubs will withstand severe pruning.

Never severely prune conifers (pines, spruce or junipers) because they cannot generate new growth from old wood.

Fruit trees may also be pruned in February.

Continue planting balled-and-burlapped and bare-rooted plants so they can get established before spring.

If existing plants need transplanted to another location in the landscape, do it now.

Remove old foliage from irises and ornamental grasses to make way for new spring growth.

Fertilize spring-flowering bulbs lightly with 10-10-10 fertilizer (l pound per 100 square feet) when new foliage is 3-4 inches high.

Remember, Arbor Day is Feb. 17. Why not plant a tree in honor or memory of a friend or family member.

For additional information on your lawns and gardens, call the Dawson County Extension Office at (706) 265-2442.

Clark Beusse is the Dawson County extension agent. For more information, call (706) 265-2442.

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