Winter Garden Prep

Dormant Season Ending!  Now is the last chance for bareroot planting, dormant pruning and spraying! Finish these tasks by mid-month.

Don’t miss the most important spray to prevent peach leaf curl on nectarines and peaches. Spray with lime sulfur or fixed copper when buds begin to swell but before they show color — about mid-month. Copper sprays must contain 50% fixed copper. Do not use lime sulfur on apricots.       If fireblight has been a problem on your pear trees, including evergreen pears, spray while the tree is in blossom with copper or agricultural grade streptomycin.

Spray weekly when the weather is warm and humid. Warm means an average daily temperature of over 60 degrees. Add the high and the low for the day and divide by two to get the average temperature for the day.      Weed Prevention  If you have had problems with crabgrass or spotted spurge in the past, apply a fertilizer that contains a pre-emergence herbicide (weed preventer) in mid-February. Crabgrass begins to germinate by the end of the month. These weeds are not problems until summer, but you need to act now if you want to prevent them from growing at all. Pendamethalin prevents oxalis and spotted spurge as well as crabgrass. Dacthal is also effective against a wide range of summer weeds.

Gallery prevents crabgrass and many broadleaf weeds.   Cool and wet weather encourages red thread, a fungus disease, in lawns. This disease will show up as small (3 to 5 inch) brown spots in your lawn. Look closely at the tips of the blades to see the red color. Prevent or treat red thread by applying a high nitrogen fertilizer. Bluegrass lawns are especially susceptible.   Spot spray dandelions in lawns with a broadleaf weed killer. Only the most severe infestation of weeds require a weed and feed product, which applies chemicals over the entire lawn rather than on just the weeds themselves.      Plant Bulbs and Seeds  Plant bulbs for late spring and summer — glads, lilies, iris, cannas, callas, anemones, ranunculus, tuberous begonias. Plant crowns of strawberries, rhubarb, asparagus and artichokes. Begin planting gladiolus corms now; they will bloom in 10 weeks. Plant them 6 inches deep and 6 inches apart. Plant every two weeks in March and April also to space out the blooming. Thrips attack leaves and flowers, especially during the hot summer months. Be sure to get started planting now.  In the greenhouse or under lights, plant seeds of spring flowers and vegetables — stock, calendulas, sweet Williams, lettuce, cole crops, root crops, parsley, onions.  If rains are light, be sure to water as deciduous trees put out new leaves and blossoms.

Cut back fuchsias and hydrangeas. To make hydrangeas blue, give them a monthly application of aluminum sulfate.      Flowers for February  Vines:   Hardenbergia violacea is sold as Coral Pea. It belongs to the Pea Family, Legumimosae, and is native to Australia. Adapted to USDA Zones 9 and 10. Give it sunlight, a well drained soil, and regular watering. It blooms profusely in February. Prune after flowering. Train as a vine or prune as a mounded shrub. Also does well in containers.


Less than 50 miles west of Titusville is Orlando, Florida, home of Disney World. Straight to the east is Cape Canaveral, a section of marshy Atlantic Ocean coast owned by the federal government and used by NASA. More to the ocean goers tastes are Daytona Beach to the northeast, about an hour by car.

Orlando also is next to Kissimmee and St. Cloud Florida. The greater Disney World area is covered by Orange County Florida and Osceola County Florida. The area is also home to the University of Central Florida. Southeast of Orlando is Conway with Lake Conway and Little Lake Conway. Disney World is south and west of Orlanda toward Kissimmee Florida.

Walt Disney began buying up land in the Orlando area in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s under a series of front companies to avoid the speculators running up the land costs. Some of the names of the companies he used are now named on businesses on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom. The Disney World venture directly employs more than 60,000 people full and part time, and untold numbers of related jobs have been created around Kissimmee and Orlando.

The best restaurants in the area include Texas de Brazil Churrascaria which is about five miles from Conway Florida at 5259 International Drive. Also there is Del Frisco’s Prime Steak and Lobster in Orlando at 729 Lee Road. Also for more casual dining you can try Kobe Japanese Steakhouse – they are all over. Then there is the Ravenous Pig, in Winter Park towards Denning Florida at 1234 N. Orange Ave. Shirt and Shoes required.

Robert Trent Jones Course near Anniston Al

Four nines at Silver Lakes north of Anniston on Alabama Rt 431 but south of Gadsden and Glencoe present themselves as a very cool Robert Trent Jones Trail course, and the closest course on the trail to Atlanta Georgia. Less than an hour from Villa Rica’s famous ‘the Frog’ course, Silver Lakes is also about 10 miles shy of the Talladega race track on US interstate 20. From the Interstate, take 431 north to Oak Grove Road and hang a left for about two winding miles.

Since one of the nines is really a par 3 course, on any given day the professionals at Silver lakes combine two of the three championship nines for a challenging round of golf. For nine holes of championship fun, this leaves another path to enjoy. The three nines are entitled the ‘Backbreaker’, the ‘Heartbraker’ and the ‘Mindbreaker’. What makes regular players appreciate this approach is that careful play when rewarded, especially with the local knowledge a career on these links may have afforded you, may just allow you to put together 18 holes in the 70’s, on a course named for the great Robert Trent Jones.

When out with the wife, or a son or daughter not yet mature enough to conquer some of the carries, the par three gives mom or dad the chance to introudce sons, daughters, nieces and nephews to a truly championship venue.


Silver Lakes

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

The Frog

Talladega Race Track – parks and trails

Anniston Metropolitan Airport – KANB