TIME TO PRUNE ROSES! Valentine’s Day is a time to remember our loved ones with candy and flowers. It also is the perfect time to prune roses. Late January to mid February is the best time. Prune established hybrid teas, removing dead and small twiggy growth, leaving strong healthy canes to a plant height of 18-24 inches. Try to prune to an outward facing bud to maintain spreading, open growth. Prune shrub roses like Knockouts 1/3 to 1/2 the plant height. Do not prune climbers until after the Spring bloom, then removing only the oldest canes and cutting back healthy, vigorous canes no more than 1/3. Remove spent blooms throughout the season on all rose varieties, cutting back to the first 5 leaflet cluster. You can also begin fertilizing your roses in late February with Bayer Systemic Rose and Flower Care, or organically with Maestro Rose Glo. Gill Landscape Nursery stocks disease resistant roses (ask for them), but if you have hybrid teas, as soon as new growth appears you should begin a spray program to control insects and diseases. Bayer 3 in 1 Insect, Disease and Mite Control, takes care of all rose problems. For organic controls, use Neem Oil for insects and disease or Serenade to control diseases. A regular spray program keeps your roses healthy and happy. Remember fungal diseases are always easier to prevent than to cure.
Crab Grass? Probably not, King Ranch Bluestem is more likely the ugly ogre in your lawn. KR Bluestem was imported as a forage grass from Africa a long time ago by guess who? It is very tough, grows with hardly any rainfall, but can spoil the look of your nice lawn. There is no selective herbicide to remove it without harming the desirable lawn grass mixed with it, so you either dig (not easy or thorough) or apply RoundUp. Since the RoundUp will kill everything you spray it on, limit your spray by knocking out the bottom of a small box and placing the box on top of each bluestem clump. Inside the box, spray to wet foliage, not to soak the ground, do not mow for 4 days before or after spraying. Your St. Augustine will be free to run across and cover these limited dead spots within a period of a few weeks, if done in March or April after fertilizing.
Venus Fly Trap
“The infamous Venus Fly Trap! It’s one of the coolest plants we get in, and is surprisingly easy to take care of. Simply pot the plant in sphagnum peat moss, and put the pot in a saucer full of charcoal. Then water the plant by putting water in the saucer and letting it suck it up. The charcoal in the saucer keeps the water fresh, and since they’re naturally a bog
plant, they love to be standing in water. Venus fly trapslove sunny windowsills, but don’t let them get too hot! I feed mine pill bugs since mine live inside, but if you put them outside they’ll catch their own dinner. I even had a 2 year venus fly trap that caught a wasp; I was so proud!!”