Seal cuts when they are larger than one-half inch in diameter on roses and other deciduous plants. Pruning paint is a convenient way to keep diseases from entering pruning cuts (think of it as a bandage). Dormant sprays should be applied after pruning, prior to the appearance of new leaves.
This is also a great time to plant lawns, either to fix a small spot or an entire plot (believe the Marathon grass commercial, it’s true). It is important to prepare the soil properly first, add a good quality, hardwood compost, gypsite, and preplant fertilizer. Cool season grasses like Marathon, other tall fescues and bluegrass will benefit from fertilization during the winter.
Pest alert: Catharine tells me that aphids are already appearing on her new, red foliage of roses because of daytime temperatures hovering above 65 degrees. Use water and a horticultural oil to wash them off. Snails and slugs are active, particularly after a rain shower. That’s It snail granules will provide excellent control without endangering your pets.
This is my favorite time for color. I love pansies, snapdragons, stock, the primroses and particularly Iceland poppies. Once again, prepare the soil properly to ensure success.
The Super Bowl, for those of you who had forgotten, arrives Sunday. It is the day that many of us will forget about diet and abstinence, and pretend we enjoy watching football once a year. If I might make a suggestion, at least go for a walk at the beach or up on the hill before settling in. Maybe work in the garden a bit.
See you next time.
STEVE KAWARATANI and Buster won’t be watching the Super Bowl this weekend. He can be reached at (949) 497-8168, or e-mail to email@example.com .