It’s the month of fruits, nuts

Published 10:21 am Sunday, February 4, 2007

Not only is this the month of love, it’s also the month of fruits and nuts — literally.

Trees such as mayhaw, persimmon, peach, pear, quince, and cherry can still be set out this month.

Pecan, walnut and other nut trees can also be planted now, but don’t wait much longer or they will not have time to get settled in before summer.

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Planting blueberries for that special someone would certainly be a touching gesture. A well-drained site in the full sun is ideal, although blueberries are one of the few berry-producing plants that can stand a partially shaded site as well.

Speaking of sweets for your sweet, why not plant some blackberries this month.

A sunny, well-drained area is perfect.

Thornless varieties are available these days, although if you ask me, the fruit just isn’t as mouthwatering as that from plants with scratchy thorns that seem to protect the delicious berries from critters.

Vine fruits such as muscadine grow well in the Miss-Lou and are generally insect and disease resistant.

These make an attractive cover for an arbor or fence line.

Imagine how sweet it will be when you and yours can sit under a muscadine arbor during the heat of the summer.

Cool-season bedding plants such as pansies, dianthus and snapdragons don’t grow much when the weather is cold.

As soon as a few warm spring-like days arrive, they will suddenly burst forth with lots of growth and blooms. Mid-February is a prime time to give them a boost with a little fertilizer so that they will really produce in the next few weeks.

If you are one of those gardeners who hates weeds in a lawn, plan to get control of summer annual pests like crabgrass and goosegrass in the next few weeks. Apply a spring pre-emerge herbicide in the next few weeks. Pre-emergent herbicides prevent the establishment of many summer annual weeds.

Most of these weed seeds germinate when the soil reaches a certain temperature, so the herbicide must be in place before this point or the application will not work. Around the Miss-Lou, the application window is from the middle of February until March 1.

Most of these pre-emergent herbicides are impregnated onto fertilizer granules, which make them easy to apply. As with any fertilizer or pest control product, make sure to completely read the label and follow directions. If you have any questions make sure to ask your nursery professional or contact a master gardener for assistance.

Some pre-emergent labels specifically state that they are not to be used under certain types of trees, shrubs and in areas that are to be renovated or planted with annuals in the future.

Have a great week!

Traci Maier can be reached at