Magnolia Landscape Supply Blog


Tips, tricks and answers to your frequently asked lawn and garden questions.




November through February is the best time to

plant or transplant your container stock or existing trees and shrubs.


Spring is the second best time to plant trees and shrubs, unless you are planting tender shrubs or flowers.

There are several reasons that it is the optimal time such as:

  1. It’s a pleasant time of year to work outside.
  2. Plants are dormant or going dormant and can be safely dug and replanted or container stock can be planted.
  3. It allows several months for the roots to get established before spring growth and the hot times of summer.

· When transplanting make sure to dig a large enough root ball (get as much of the root system as is possible), get the plant back into the prepared soil as quickly as possible to keep the roots from drying out.

· Now is the time to replace your summer flowers with the more winter hardy ones. For the fall colors, look towards the Pansies and Violas. They are the number one choice for blooming-bedding plants. They are hardy and will bloom over the long season. They come in a wide range of colors also. Other bedding plants to consider include snapdragons, and dianthus. For colorful foliage, see the Croton or Ornamental kale/cabbage.

· Camellias will soon be coming into bloom. First the Sasanqua and later the popular Camellia japonica. Select new varieties for a winter planting while in flower.

· Don’t forget, plants with berries can add color to the landscape.  Pyracantha, Hollies, Nandina and Beautyberry are just a few of the choices available for bright, winter interest.

 · Citrus trees should have ripening summer fruit. Don’t get too eager to harvest as most taste much better after a couple frosts, and fruit is a very colorful addition to the landscape.




· A soil test is recommended every two or three years.  

· An ideal time to adjust high-acidic lawn and garden soil is late fall and early winter. Centipede is the exception but most grasses prefer a slightly acidic to neutral soil pH. And the only way to know whether your lawn is in need of an application of agricultural lime and how much is: …to have the soil’s pH tested, however, most soils do not require yearly applications. Your soil test let’s you know the proper fertilizer ratio to apply to lawn and shrubs. 




· Begin gearing up for your tree pruning.  Prune the dead limbs now before leaves fall will help to identify which limb needs to go, and any hazardous limbs that should be removed. Continue to hold off on major pruning for a couple of months as any unnecessary pruning now can still encourage new growth that would easily get freeze-damage in the event of frost/freeze.

· Don’t get in a hurry to prune woody plants. Late December through February is typically the best time to prune them - even later into March for crape myrtles. Once the trees and shrubs are dormant, begin selective pruning those plants that don’t bloom in the early spring

· You can shape your evergreens or berry plants, like holly and yaupon, now and the trimmings can be enjoyed as cut material inside the house. Use good pruning practices when selecting greenery from landscape plants. Don’t destroy the natural form and beauty of the plant.

· Clean-up rose beds. Be sure all diseased leaves are raked and disposed to help reduce diseases next season.




· If you have drip irrigation you may consider turning it off now but, stay on top of the weather. Where there is no rain, you need to make sure to irrigate as the soil becomes dry.  Dry roots are more easily injured by freezing temperatures. This is particularly true of evergreen plants. Moist soil can store more of the sun’s energy and for a longer time than dry soil. This energy is released as heat after the sunsets and provides a degree or two of moderation.

· Also protect your lawn from excessive winter-damage by providing irrigation during dry periods




· Inspect your trees and shrubs for bagworm capsules. Remove and destroy them to reduce next year’s pest population.

 · For fruit trees, it is a good time to apply the first application of dormant spray (the first of three applications needed between now and March 1st, to get the job done while trees are dormant). Most trees want a lime sulfur spray. Use copper for preventing Peach Leaf Curl. Also, scale and other hard-to-kill insect pests may be over wintering on your trees or shrubs. Pecan and fruit trees, euonymus, camellias and holly are favorite hosts. Spray with dormant oil, following label directions on the container to avoid plant damage. Protect any winter annuals from the oil spray.

 · Remove all old fruit from trees and rake and destroy those on the ground.

 · Rake leaves from around fruit trees to help control insect populations and remove disease-causing organisms over wintering on leaf debris. You will help reduce rodent populations by removing all fruit remaining on the tree or on the ground.

 · Protect trunks of fruit trees from rodent/rabbit damage with tree wraps.

 · Remember, every weed pulled now will be many less to pull in spring.

 · Control dandelions, henbit and chickweed before spring green up.




 · Winter heating dries the air out in your home considerably which will dry out your houseplants too. Help them by misting them or placing the pots on a pebble-filled tray of water to ensure adequate humidity and moisture.

 · Make sure the canes of climbing roses and other vining plants are securely fastened to their supports. Winter winds can severely damage unprotected plants. Also, any newly planted trees or shrubs should be staked to protect them from wind during winter storms. Keep them staked until the roots have a chance to develop and anchor them.

· Keep leaves raked from the lawn. They should be composted. This would also be a good time to just mow over them, turning them to mulch, which adds important nutrients back to the lawn.

· Check the mulch throughout the landscape. It’s a good practice to keep about a three-inch layer of organic mulch around all plants year-round, so add more to any bare or thin spots. The mulch will help keep the soil and plant roots warm. However, avoid piling mulch up against the trunks and stems of your plants.

  · Collect dried seedpods, grass stalks, seed heads and other dried plant materials, as well as your trimmings from your berrying shrubs for use in making flower or plant arrangements.

 · Start a compost pile with fall garden debris.

 · If you have deciduous trees, keep on top of the leaves. If you compost, you should shred the leaves before composting or run a lawn mower over them. If not, they can mat and take forever to decompose, making a slippery, gooey mass in your compost pile or beds.

 · Winter sun can scald newly planted trees. Protect them by wrapping the trunks with special tree wrapping tape. Add four to six inches of shredded bark, wood chips or leaves around the base of the tree. After applying, gently pull mulch away from the base.


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