by WYNNE LOVE

As southern Californians emerge from their mild winter into the cool and often rainy days of early spring, now is a good time to do a little outdoor clean-up so you can lounge in a beautiful and blooming yard come spring. As winter comes to a close, it’s the perfect time to give your yard a head start for spring. Even those of us with few gardening skills can tackle these few easy steps, shared by lo cal experts.

 

Feed Me, Seymour!

David Ross, Senior Manager of the Walter Anderson Nursery in Poway, confirmed that February is the ideal time to fertilize and amend your soil, leaving it full of nutrients for your plants’ first good spring meal.

 

Give Me Some Air.

There is no set schedule for lawn aeration. It all depends on how much traffic the lawn gets and how healthy it is, but lawns should be aerated a minimum of every two to three years, and early spring is as good a time as any, loosening soil and priming the area for new growth.

Get Off My Back! As your prized plants get ready for a spring growth spurt, so do the weeds. Avoid the invasion of crab grasses and other persistent and fast-growing weeds by using a pre-emergent weed killer on lawns and a horticultural oil spray on plants. Walter Anderson’s David Ross also recommends regularly checking for the arrival of aphids and hosing them off.

 

I Need a Drink.

While it is still early to increase watering times, it is a good idea to check your automated schedule, especially with the increase in rainfall. Make sure palms and lawns aren’t getting too much water, but be sure not to neglect potted plants which will still need regular doses.

 

Don’t Rush Me.

Though the weather may be warming already, don’t be too eager to plant those summer vegetables – it’s still too early. In February, there is still time to plant another round of leafy greens and root vegetables. “February is a great time to plant citrus,” added Ross. “It’s too late to plant bare-root fruit trees, but it’s the very beginning of the citrus tree season.” Not a lot of room? Try a “fruit salad” tree which can grow as many as five different varieties of citrus on one tree. Then, sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor!