Saturday, February 16, 2002

To do this week

Garden tips from Sue Trusty, Civic Garden Center


        • Check mulches, rodent shields, salt/wind screens and other winter plant protection to make sure they are still in place.

        • Prune landscape plants, except early spring bloomers, which should be pruned after flowers fade. Prune birches, maples, dogwoods and other heavy sap bleeders in early summer to avoid the sap flow, although bleeding is not harmful to the tree.

        • Fertilize trees and shrubs between now and March 15.


        • Fertilize spring bulbs with 10-10-10 fertilizer when the new foliage has emerged from the soil.

        • Start seeds of hardy annuals and perennials like carnations, foxgloves, hollyhocks, purple coneflowers, pansies and petunias.

        • Start tuberous begonias. Plant with the top of the tuber just above the soil. Fruits and vegetables

       • Fertilize fruit trees according to the results of your soil test, or use 1/6 pound ammonium nitrate for each year of age for peaches, plums and cherries. For pears, use pound ammonium nitrate per year of age.

        • Apply dormant oil sprays to fruit trees when temperatures are between 40 and 70 degrees to control overwintering aphids, mites and scale. Follow label instructions.

        • Start seeds of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi and lettuce indoors under fluorescent lights.


        • Water houseplants with tepid water in the morning when the house is warming up, not in the evening when it is cool.

        • Propagate houseplants like piggyback and hibiscus by stem cuttings. The mother plants will fill in and cuttings will root quickly now.

Timely tip

        Starting your own seeds indoors saves money and is fun and rewarding. For best results, use a fluorescent fixture with grow-lights or with one cool and one bright-white bulb. Keep the light bulbs 6-12 inches from the plants for 12-16 hours a day.

        Contact the Civic Garden Center Hotline by e-mail:; phone: 221-8733.



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