Now it’s time to control your pests! I’ve identified ninety-three little things that will lead to the easiest and best preparation for a beautiful and green year for you and your yard. I’ve divided them into six categories for you:
If you’d like more information, I’ve added links to as many of the plant names and terms as I could, so that should help. I also want to thank the authors of the following books which helped me put these items together:
Month by Month Gardening in Georgia by Walter Reeves & Erica Glasener
Taylor’s Guide to Gardening in the South edited by Rita Buchanan and Roger Holmes
Backyard Secrets of Garden Experts by Leslie Garisto
Ready? Let’s get finished!
- If your houseplants have whiteflies, your indoor seedlings will have whiteflies. Spray those pests with insecticidal soap, and use a yellow sticky trap.
- If you notice that your early blooming Daffodils haven’t come up yet and there is no indication that they will, they’ve probably fallen victim to root rot. You’ll need to dig up and discard (not compost) the bulbs. See if you can improve the drainage and plant new ones.
- Brown rot is a disease that seems to always find Peach and Plum trees. It infects the bloom, waiting until the fruit is nearly ripe to exhibit itself. To treat it, spray a fungicide labeled for fruit trees. Repeat the treatment when half of the blooms have fallen. Make sure to remove all mummified fruit left on the tree from last season before blooms appear. This will reduce the chances of infection of this year’s fruit.
- Spray Apple and pear tree blooms with bactericide if you have had problems with fire blight in past years.
- Mealybugs are a common pest problem. If you notice sticky liquid on leaves and flat surfaces under your plant, you probably have Mealybugs. The insects look like tiny (1/8th Inch) balls of white fuzz. Using your kitchen sink sprayer, wash the bugs off. If that doesn’t work, try spraying the plant with a soap/oil mixture once a week.
- Try to keep your pest infested plants away from your clean plants until you’re sure the problem is gone. If you have no progress, toss the plant.
- It’s time for the first application of a weed preventer for all types of lawns. Your next application will be in May.
- Remember to irrigate your lawn after applying a weed preventer herbicide. The water dissolves the chemical making the top ½ inch of soil inhospitable to weed seed germination
- South Georgia gardeners, if you did not do so in February, now‘s the time to use atrazine on Centipede grass and Saint Augustine grass lawns to kill broadleaf weeds that have emerged. This also prevents other weed seeds from sprouting.
- On a warm windless date, kill weeds on your driveway and walks with a non-selective herbicide.
- Spot spray dandelions, curly dock, mugwart and other perennial weeds with a broad herbicide.
- If they are close to desirable plants, dig them out with a dandelion fork.
- Look for yellow or discolored leaves, stippling or dark tiny spots on leaves, sticky sap, or other signs of insects. Treat with horticultural oils or insecticidal soaps as needed.
- Heat and humidity make Georgia a prime site for Rose black spot, a fungus disease of rose leaves. Old fashioned roses tolerate the disease by shedding some but not all leaves. Many of the newer hybrid Tea Roses will shed most of their leaves by July it black spot is not controlled. Plant only roses that are known to have tolerance or resistance to disease.
- Pick off and discard diseased leaves as soon as you notice them.
- Spray, beginning when leaves appear, with a mixture of 1 tablespoon baking soda, 2 tablespoons horticultural oil, and 1-gallon water. Repeat every seven days. This mixture will not completely protect from the disease but it will delay the disease onset.
- Neem oil has shown some promise as a fungicide and may also be used.
- Replace the mulch under your rose every spring.