8 Tips for Columbia Landscaping and Gardening

Over-pruning and clipping crepe myrtles, as seen last winter in a North Myrtle Beach subdivision, presents an unattractive sight and the potential for long-term tree damage.

Over-pruning and clipping crepe myrtles, as seen last winter in a North Myrtle Beach subdivision, presents an unattractive sight and the potential for long-term tree damage.

Sun News file photo

Here’s what Delores Steinhauser says about this time of year.

“Enjoy it while you can before the heat hits.” said the co-owner of Wingard’s Market in Lexington.

Now is the time to watch the life in your garden reappear, she said.

“It’s an exciting time because everything produces new growth,” she said.

But now is not the time to sit and watch, unless you’re talking about your lawn.

It’s too late to apply pre-emergence to get rid of weeds that have crept in and too early for fertilizer. Rule of thumb: don’t fertilize until you’ve cut the grass twice.

Grass at this stage is like a baby, she says, struggling to grow.

But it’s time to fertilize trees and bushes.

Steinhauser uses a basic fertilizer for both, although there are many others for a specific type of foliage.

Here are some more Steinhauser tips:

  • Don’t commit pancake murder. Gently prune the tops to form the shape you want and cut the suction cup branches from the bottom. If you want a small crepe myrtle, buy one. Some grow up to 10 feet, others up to 25. “Don’t clog your plant that wants to be 25 feet,” she said.

  • The best time to plant shrubs and trees is in the fall, but spring works too. Be careful with small roots when taking the plant out of the container. It is the feeder roots that help the plant to establish itself.

  • If you want to add trees to your garden, she says the perfect tree for the Midlands is any type of native oak. They are home to insects and caterpillars that the native birds of the region feed on. This is the environmentalist side of his speech. For sheer beauty, she would choose a Japanese maple, which comes in many sizes and shapes. And she thinks every garden should have a camellia, not native, but it blooms in winter.

Steinhauser said a great reference centered on the Midlands is an almanac published by the Lexington County Master Gardeners.

She also had some tips on preparing a vegetable garden:

  • For a first garden, start small. “Don’t try a 25-by-35 row garden,” she said. Use raised beds, 4 by 4 or 4 by 8. Do not use garden soil. A compost-enhanced garden mix is ​​perfect.

  • Five-gallon buckets can also be used for individual tomato plants.

  • Make sure you have a watering source nearby, especially for tomatoes prone to blossom end rot, which is exactly what it sounds like, rotting from where the tomato formed from flowering. Also use calcium nitrate to avoid this.

  • Place starter plants in the ground, fertilize monthly.

“Sit back and watch them grow,” she said.

This story was originally published March 18, 2022 9:07 a.m.

Terri S. Tomasini