Still many gardening tasks ahead


On last weekend’s radio show, I noted there are really no lawn projects due for the next two months, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do in December and early January.

And since this is my last article until Jan. 7, I thought I would list some things that should be handled over the next 30-60 days, no matter where you live in the Gulf Coast Region. If you don’t want to do anything, I get it. But realize how blessed we are to be able to garden nearly year-round in this area.

So, let’s start with the basics. While I’m not encouraging any lawn fertilizing or winterizing, I hope you have been sticking to my schedule. If you missed putting down the pre-emergent herbicide, you should do it immediately. Remember, It’s Never Too Late to Do the Right Thing.”

It’s also time to have trees pruned professionally. Pruning during the winter or dormant season is a must around these parts. Please don’t ask me around March 1, “Randy, is it too late to prune my trees?” It doesn’t have to be done tomorrow, but get booked before mid-February, the heart of the dormant pruning season. I recommend Affordable Tree Service, but if you are a do-it-yourselfer, please follow these do’s and don’ts.

While you may not feel it’s time put in a new landscape, at least get the beds built. Then, you can start adding elements as you see fit. If you have neither the time nor inclination to build beds yourself, call Pearcescapes and have them do the work for you.

Build veggie beds now, too. Let them mellow for the next two months, then start a spring garden by mid-February.

You can also start a bed for cole crops sometime over the next three or four months. And you can keep planting them past the optimum time of November.

Plant winter bulbs now, too - like tulips and hyacinth. Stagger them throughout January. Meanwhile, a very easy and concise bulb-planting guide is available from our great friends at Warrens Southern Gardens.

The next two months are also ideal for installing a new irrigation system. Andy’s Sprinkler, Drainage & Lighting offers their best prices during December and January. For example, they have a $150 Winter-Spring Checkup deal – one price, two visits! The regular price is $150 for a single visit. But book it right now to get that amazing deal.

You should also be feeding your color beds during the winter, so they’ll rock on until early spring. I prefer controlled- or slow-release blooming plants foods like Color Star from Nelson Plant Food. As Dean Nelson says, “Your plants are hungry … FEED ‘EM!”

Lastly, give me a call on the GardenLine show this Saturday if you need clarification on any of these topics or have other garden questions. We will be running "The Best of GardenLine" this Sunday and on Dec. 26 and 27. So, if you need me to answer a pressing question, you gotta call on Saturday or wait until Jan. 2.

ILLUSTRATONS: Getty Images