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Beautiful weather brings thoughts of gardening

February 23, 2012

By Tom Smith, OSU Extension Service Educator, Agriculture/4-H Youth Development, CED

With the beautiful weather we have had the past few weeks, our thoughts have turned to blooming flowers and fresh vegetables. David Hillock, Consumer Horticulture Specialist with the OSU Cooperative Extension Service, has some suggestions for getting your vegetable garden and landscape areas ready for the coming year:

General

· Base any plant fertilization on a soil test. For directions, contact your county Extension Educator.
· Provide feed and unfrozen water for your feathered friends.

· Clean up birdhouses before spring tenants arrive during the middle of this month.

· Avoid salting sidewalks, for damage can occur to plant material. Use alternative commercial products, sand or kitty litter for traction.

Trees & Shrubs

· Fertilize trees, including fruit and nut trees and shrubs, annually. (OSU Fact Sheet F-6412)

· Most bare-rooted trees and shrubs should be planted in February or March. (OSU Fact Sheet F-6414)

· Finish pruning shade trees, summer flowering shrubs and hedges. Spring blooming shrubs such as forsythia may be pruned immediately after flowering. (Note: Do not top trees or prune just for the sake of pruning.) (OSU Fact Sheet F-6409)

· Look for arborvitae aphids on many evergreen shrubs during the warmer days of early spring.

· Gall-producing insects on oaks, pecans, hackberries, etc. need to be sprayed prior to bud break of foliage.

· Dormant oil can still be applied to control mites, galls, overwintering aphids, etc. (OSU Fact Sheet F-7306)

Fruit & Nuts

· Spray peaches and nectarines with a fungicide for prevention of peach leaf curl before bud swell. (OSU Fact Sheet F-7319)

· Mid-February is a good time to begin pruning and fertilizing trees and small fruits.

· Collect and store graft wood for grafting pecans later this spring.

· Begin planting blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, asparagus and other perennial garden crops later this month.

· Choose fruit varieties that have a proven track record for Oklahoma's conditions (OSU Fact Sheet F-6222 has a recommended list).

Turf

· A product containing glyphosate plus a broadleaf herbicide can be used on dormant bermudagrass in January or February when temperatures are above 50oF for winter weed control. (OSU Fact Sheet F-6421)

Vegetables

·Cool-season vegetable transplants can still be started for late spring garden planting.

· By February 15 many cool-season vegetables like cabbage, carrots, lettuce, peas and potatoes can be planted. (OSU Fact Sheet F-6004)

Flowers

· Feed tulips in early February.

· Wait to prune roses in March.

For more information, contact the Pushmataha County OSU Extension office at 306 SW B Street in Antlers, or call (580)298-5563.

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