- Spread wood ashes around vegetable gardens, flower bulb beds and non-acid loving plants. Ash is a good source of Potash for plants. Potash helps plants regulate metabolism, which helps them get through stressful periods. Potash also works like lime in making soil less acidic.
- Trees can still be pruned now. You may notice excessive sap bleeding from pruning cuts on elm, maple, birch, dogwood, beech, walnut, magnolia, tulip poplar and redbud. This bleeding is harmless to the tree. Remember that one key to proper pruning is to make sure your tools are sharp.
- Cut back overgrown shrubs. They will leaf out more quickly if you do any hard pruning at this time of the year. As the season warms up and the sap begins to rise in plants, the dormant buds will be awaken and push out new growth.
- Trim ornamental grasses, mondo grass and liriope. This will ensure a better looking plant in the spring.
- Plant asparagus crowns when the soil is dry enough to work.
- If starting vegetables and herbs indoors, set up fluorescent grow lights and gather needed materials.
- Don't forget cards, flowers and gifts - Valentine's Day is right around the corner!
Bruce Allentuck is president of Allentuck Landscaping Co. in Clarksburg, Maryland www.allentucklandscaping.com