Take care of your lawn. Make every effort to avoid walking on your lawn when frost is present, damage will show later. Mowing should not be often needed during this month. Fescue should not be cut short at any time. Fertilization with high nitrogen fertilizers like WinterGem™ is appropriate now
Prune deciduous trees and shrubs. Best done during January. The plants are fully dormant. Thin out congested tops, remove crossing branches and broken, damaged or diseased wood. Do not pollard trees !
Prune roses. Winter temperatures are rarely cold enough for long enough to put roses into a dormant state. They need a dormant period to produce properly in spring. Now’s the time to make it happen. Strip all leaves from the bushes and prune. See StarNote 520, Rose Selection, Care and Planting for complete instructions.
Dormant spray fruit trees and roses. Prevent spring pest and disease problems with applications of dormant-disease control and dormant oil sprays. The treatment will prevent fungal spores and destroy over wintering insect eggs. Also this will help prevent aphids, powdery mildew, peach leaf curl and other problems common to fruit trees and roses. It’s important to spray early before the buds swell. DO NOT USE DORMANT or SULFUR SPRAYS ON APRICOT TREES.
Continue to plant Roses, Dormant Pot roses and Fruit Trees. This is a prime planting time for spring and summer production. Remember, roses do best in Afternoon shade. (top)
Watch out for strong winds. Spring often comes early to the Desert Southwest. Winds can stress new plantings and burn young leaves. Water deeply and make sure all new trees are STAKED PROPERLY. Use multiple poles and soft ties to keep trees from breaking or blowing over.
Finish planting Dormant Pot Roses and Fruit Trees. All planting should be completed by Valentine’s Day or the plants may not survive the coming summer heat.
"Wake up" Established roses. About 3 weeks after pruning, get roses ready for the spring blooming period with the "Star Potion" discussed in StarNote 605, Fertilizer Mixture for Established Roses.
Fertilize fruit trees and grapes early in the month. The greatest need for nitrogen is about 6 weeks before and after bloom. Proper feeding during this period helps ensure the highest quality fruit. The use of a soil alkalinity modifier like Con- Gro can substantially enhance your plants uptake of nutrients. The "Star Potion" for fruit trees is discussed in StarNote 610, Fertilizer Mixture for Established Fruit Trees.
Frost damaged plants. If damaged by a freeze or hard frost, leave plants unpruned and undisturbed until later in spring. Pruning or transplanting after such damage may further weaken or kill the plant. When new growth emerges, you’ll see where to prune it.
Prevent spring lawn weeds through application of a pre-emergent weed control product like Portrait™. Amaze® gives excellent pre-emergent control in tree wells, shrub and flowerbeds. (top)
Reset sprinkler clocks to match requirements of the Southern Nevada Watering Authority Drought Watering Restrictions Guide if drought conditions are in effect. Get a copy from any Star Nursery. Inspect your irrigation system for correct water delivery to all plants.
Fertilize your trees and shrubs. Your plants are stirring and will benefit from a feeding of balanced or complete fertilizer like 15-15-15. An organic-based fertilizer like Dr. Q’s® Tree, Shrub & Vine Food will condition your soil while getting the plants ready for tough weather ahead. For Legumes; fertilize with little to no nitrogen. These will require phosphorus and potassium (these do not require nitrogen). Dr. Q’s®Desert Plant and Cactus Food, 5-10-9 is a good choice. Flowering plants should not be given as high an amount of nitrogen as this will reduce the quantity and quality of blooms. Dr. Q’s® Flower food is a good choice here.
Feed desert plants and cacti with Dr. Q’s® Desert Plant and Cactus Food to greatly improve spring flowering and promote vigorous growth in the coming months.
Survey your yard. Clean up debris, tune your irrigation system and replace parts as necessary. Fertilize lawns with a complete spring fertilizer like Dr. Q’s Straight Flush (16-8-8) or Turf Supreme® (16-6-8). Consider replacements for unattractive, ugly, nonproductive or diseased plants. (top)
Thin fruit on trees when it’s the size of peas. You’ll have better fruit and protect the tree from breakage due to overproduction.
Over seed existing lawns or plant new lawns. See StarNote 800, Planting a New Lawn from Seed, and 810, Fertilizing and Maintaining Your Lawn for details. If you recently used a pre-emergent weed preventer, you will need to wait before seeding. When over seeding existing lawns, make an application of Dr. Q's® Sod & Seed Starter, and cover seeds with a fine mulch like Top Dressing immediately after seeding, to get your new grass off to a quick, healthy start.
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