• 73°

Plenty to do outside, but don’t prune now

Outdoor activities and chores never seem to cease even with the sudden onset of winter.

Many people believe that fall is the best time to prune. Pruning can be done at any time of the year; however, heavy pruning in the fall may cause damage in late winter or early spring. Heavy duty pruning should be initiated in the spring in mid-March to avoid cold damage.

Heavy pruning now could stimulate growth in some plants with the possibility of unseasonably warm temperatures during the winter. Therefore, early growth can easily be killed or severely damaged by late winter frosts or freezes. Fruit trees and grape vines should be pruned as late as possible to avoid early bloom kill.
Spring blooming plants such as azaleas, weigela, forsythia and camellia japonica should be pruned after bloom in the spring, including Encore azaleas. Bud set is initiated in most spring blooming plant materials in late summer and early fall; pruning now would remove much of the flowers for spring.

This holds true for other spring flowering trees such as dogwood, flowering cherry or redbud. Trees and shrubs can be lightly pruned now. Excessive summer growth or an occasional limb that hampers mowing can be removed without major damage to the plant.

It’s important to remove leaves from fescue lawns, especially newly seeded lawns. Rain and windy conditions produce layers of wet leaves, deterring growth and development on newly seeded areas of the lawn. Those with newly seeded lawns should carefully rake away or blow leaves so emerging seed and established lawns can grow and expand the root systems.

Newly seeded fescue lawns should be mowed when the young turf reaches a height of 3 or 4 inches. Make sure the mower blade is very sharp. Dull mower blades will rip young seedlings out of the ground. Continue to fertilize lawns into late November. Continuous fall fertilization allows fescue to develop a strong root system necessary for next summer’s survival.

Pansies can still be planted, but make sure that the plant beds are deeply tilled with ample soil amendments. Mulch newly set plants with a 3-inch layer of fine bark. Dead heading spent blooms throughout the fall and winter promotes maximum root growth. Fertilize with a water-soluble fertilizer when temperatures fall below 60 degrees. Fertilization during unseasonably warm temperatures in the winter months causes the plants to stretch and become weak.

Vegetable gardens and other gardening areas should have a cover crop planted to reduce erosion and weed control. Now is the time to plant rye grain, crimson clover, Austrian winter peas, vetch or annual ryegrass. Winter cover crops add organic matter, increasing the workability and fertility of the soil.

Comments

Crime

Fish arcade company drops suit against Rowan County Sheriff’s Office

Crime

Man faces kidnapping, assault charges after woman escapes at Webb Road Flea Market

Local

Natoli promoted to assistant county manager, will retain human resources director title

Education

Attendance restriction lifted for RSS graduation ceremonies

Business

Rowan Chamber of Commerce will host in-person Power in Partnership on Thursday

Business

Rowan EDC will undergo name change, alter board requirements with updates to bylaws

Nation/World

Israel strikes Gaza tunnels as truce efforts remain elusive

Nation/World

Supreme Court to take up major abortion rights challenge

Nation/World

Biden boosting world vaccine sharing commitment to 80M doses

Crime

Man charged for stowing away on Norfolk Southern train, impeding railroad operations

Local

Group will protest treatment of Georgia woman during 2019 traffic stop

Crime

Man overdoses at Piedmont Correctional Institute

Crime

Sheriff’s Office: Two men escape from jail, found in bushes on Fulton Street

Ask Us

Ask Us: When will North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue be resurfaced?

Local

Political Notebook: Rowan’s lawmakers pass 140 bills into the opposite chamber before deadline

Local

Police chief to present use of force policy; city manager to present 2021-22 budget

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on charges of felony larceny, possession of stolen vehicle

Coronavirus

CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline

Local

Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance

Local

Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list