This to-do list is a guide to help you anticipate and stay on top of regular lawn and garden maintenance. Keep in mind, however, your yard will need your attention in many other ways this year.
Tip for living green: Remove turf that struggles under trees, on slopes and in hot dry spots. Replace declining grass with mulch, permeable paving, ground cover or other suitable plants.
January - March. Irrigate as necessary during dry periods. Remember that roots are alive.
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January - June. Hand pull or spot treat weeds. If you must use an herbicide, first identify problem weeds, then, select a product that targets them and is safe for your type of grass. Always read and follow label directions.
February - March. Apply preemergent. Read packaging. Choose a preemergent that is safe for your type of grass and follow application directions.
April. Fertilize only after turf fully greens up. Do not fertilize lawn area within a 10 to 20 foot radius of palm trees.
Apply fungicide if lawn has infected areas remaining from fall.
April - June. Irrigate to supplement rainfall so lawn receives one inch of water per week. Install a rain sensor on your irrigation system if you don’t already have one.
May - June. Mole crickets lay their eggs in May and June. Treat your lawn in May and June to kill their young. Summer and fall treatments are useful, but kill only some of the adults. Follow directions on the insecticide label.
May - June. Watch for foraging fire ants in the lawn and garden. They are active when the surface of the ground is 70 to 95 degrees. Apply a control product according to manufacturer’s directions.
June. Apply a weed-and-feed product safe for your type of grass or spread fertilizer and preemergent separately.
Aeration note: Aerify warm season grasses when turf is actively growing in late spring or early summer. Go online to Clemson hgic 1200 for information about lawn aeration.
For more lawn care information google Clemson’s maintenance calendar for your type of grass: Clemson hgic 1215 centipedegrass, Clemson hgic 1216 Bermudagrass, Clemson 1217 zoysiagrass or Clemson hgic 1218 St. Augustinegrass.
Gardens, Trees and Shrubs
Tips for living green: Use organic and natural products instead of more toxic chemicals. If you don’t already compost start composting kitchen and yard waste. Go online to Clemson hgic 1600 for information about composting.
Ongoing. Remove damaged and diseased wood from trees and shrubs anytime. Eliminate suckers and water sprouts when they occur. Cover bare garden soil with two to three inches of mulch. Make sure to keep mulch off soil around the base of trees and shrubs. Pull weeds.
January - February. Prune ornamental grasses to a few inches above the ground.
January - March. As necessary prune summer and fall blooming ornamental trees and shrubs while they are still dormant.
January - March. Inspect evergreen shrubs and trees for scale. Treat scale with horticultural oil spray. Many types of scale reproduce year round; consequently, you need to treat plants regularly according to manufacturer’s label instructions.
January - June. Spot water or drip-irrigate garden plants as needed.
February. Prune modern roses (hybrid tea, floribunda, grandiflora) when buds swell. Wait and prune old fashioned climbing roses after they bloom. Add compost as a top dressing.
February - June. As needed prune winter and spring blooming ornamental trees and shrubs just after they flower.
March - April. Remove garden debris (dead plants, stems, leaves). Rake back and turn over old mulch. Top dress soil with compost. Add fresh mulch.
March - April. Apply slow release fertilizer to trees and shrubs.
April. Fertilize palm trees with fertilizer formulated for palms. Remove dead fronds as they occur.
April. Remove dead and winter-damaged leaves from sago palms. Feed plants with palm fertilizer.
April - June. Remove yellow foliage from spring blooming bulbs six to eight weeks after flowers fade.
April - June. Watch for aphids, white flies, thrips and mites, especially on new growth. Hose pests off plants with a strong stream of water or control them with insecticidal soap spray.
A to-do list for the second six months of 2017 will be published in June. There are plenty of gardening activities to keep you busy in the meantime.
Reach Debbie Menchek, a Clemson Master Gardener, at email@example.com.