Ideally, your fruit tree pruning has been finished, since I’m certain the apricots will be blooming by the time you read this, and our other fruit trees will shortly follow. However, if you are behind in pruning and your trees haven’t bloomed or leafed out, you can finish that pruning. You might also do a dormant oil spray for early insect control, but only spray if your trees haven’t bloomed and/or leafed out since it can damage leaves and blooms. Dormant oil sprays are usually timed for just before the trees bloom or leaf out and help to kill over-wintering insect eggs and adult insects or mites that are out and about already.
Now is the time to plant cool season vegetables that are usually started at least six weeks prior to our last average frost, which for us is around the middle of April. Cool season vegetables include peas, kale, beets, cabbage, broccoli, carrot, radish, spinach, lettuce and more. While cool season vegetables like the cooler nights and not-so-hot days, in case we get a really cold night, you need to cover your growing plants with a row cover or something similar since they wouldn’t appreciate any freezing temperatures.
If you have interest in weed control in your flower beds or lawns, a good pre-emergent weed control product should be applied around the middle of March or so. These products kill the weed seeds as they start to germinate so if weeds are already growing those won’t be controlled. However, if you plan on over-seeding your lawn this spring, which really should have been done last fall, don’t use a pre-emergent since that would inhibit the grass seed from growing. Also, if you aerate your lawn, that should be finished before applying a pre-emergent.
Even with the rain, snow, sleet and hail over the last month, once plants start to leaf out their water needs increase. To keep your plants from stressing out check your soil and if necessary, which is likely the case, irrigate well. Once plants leaf out irrigation could be needed at least once a week during the early spring period, again depending on natural rainfall.
Now is also a great time to prune your summer flowering shrubs. Summer flowering shrubs would include plants such as butterfly bush, spirea, crepe myrtle, viburnum and more, but this is just for summer flowering shrubs. Do not prune your spring flowering shrubs at this time unless you have decided you don’t want to see any of their flowers this spring.
Previous articles can be found on The Times-Independent website. If you have a topic you would like to know more about call the Utah State University Extension Grand County office at 435-259-7558 or email Mike Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thought for the day: “Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day.”
—W. Earl Hall