The differences from the winter of 2017 to 2018 is a very stark contrast. This time last year we were weeks into multiple feet of snow and it seemed as though there was no end in sight. Fast forward to this winter, and the little snow we’ve received has been gone within a few days and it seems like 50-degree afternoons have been the norm. With warmer temperatures, we naturally begin to ask, “can I start working in the yard now?”
One question I have been getting a lot this February is; “Can I fertilize my lawn now?” While technically you could fertilize your lawn now, there are still some things you should consider. The most important thing is water. We don’t have irrigation in most places right now, so our access to that is limited. You could time it with a rain, however rain days have been inconsistent. The other consideration is feeding the lawn now will cause growth, and who wants to mow now?
Weed and Bug Preventers
The other thing everyone wants to do right now is apply their weed and bug preventers. While the temperatures make us think we should be doing something, we still must consider the timing of it all. Applying a preventer early will mean you will need to re-apply earlier, and may need to add a third application towards the end of the season to get adequate prevention and protection. Typically, I would recommend Zamzows Crabgrass Preventer in mid-March. With the warmer temps however, we will want to move it up, but only by a few weeks. The same goes for the Zamzows Grub Control. Warmer soil temps will pull things up a bit. However, we need to consider the watering-in, just like the fertilizer.
Trees and Shrubs
There is a serious concern when it comes to our trees and shrubs and early warm weather. If the warm weather stays consistent, our trees and shrubs will begin to come out of dormancy. The new buds will begin to break, and if we get a cold snap it could damage or even kill some of the more sensitive plants. I think it will be best to wait to feed or prune any of your trees and shrubs. The last thing you want to do is encourage too much growth early on and cause more harm than good.
Wait for Just a Little Longer
Warm weather makes it so tempting to get out in the yard and think that it’s Spring. Just remember, it is early February and still (technically) the middle of winter. There are still things you can be doing now in preparation. Service your lawn mower. Clean up leaf and debris, or simply clean up and take stock of your lawn and garden equipment. Weather can be a cruel unforgiving beast. Rolling the dice and starting early is a game I just don’t want to play.