Staff and volunteers with the Prince William Cooperative Extension’s Environment and Natural Resources program provide educational programs for individuals and business to implement sound practices producing aesthetically pleasing landscapes that have minimal negative impacts on the environment. Programs include:
The Environment and Natural Resources team and Master Gardener Volunteers of Virginia Cooperative Extension, answer many questions throughout the year. Below are some of our most frequently asked questions for this time of year.
If you have additional questions, give our Extension Horticultural Help Desk a call at 703-792-7747
or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
February Horticultural Tips
- The Environment and Natural Resources team and Master Gardener volunteers of Virginia Cooperative Extension answer many questions during the winter season. These are some of our most frequently asked questions.
- Because of the warm, dry weather and winds we can experience in the winter, your broadleaved evergreens may need some extra attention (and water) to prevent damage to the leaves and plant this winter. If you have concerns about what to do, click on our Managing Winter Injury document.
- Read this timely tip from the Maryland Cooperative Extension Service on Melting Ice Safely .
In preparation for the spring lawn care season, take your lawn mower blades to a repair shop for sharpening. If you do it early, you'll miss the busy season and won't have to wait. You might also consider tuning up your lawn mower. If crabgrass was a problem in your lawn last year, now is the time to go shopping for a pre-emergent (also called "crabgrass preventer") product. You will want to buy a product that does NOT contain any fertilizer since early spring is not the time to be applying fertilizer. Wait until the ground temperatures rise above 50 degrees (usually in early March) to apply.
If you have additional questions, give our Extension Horticultural Help Desk a call at 703-792-7747 or click here to send an e-mail to us. It’s not too late to participate in the BEST Lawns program. For a $25 fee, we can measure and sample your lawn, develop a nutrient management plan tailored to your lawn and provide information to help improve the problems specific to your lawn. For more information visit BEST Lawns on the Prince William County website.
While not complete, the following are diseases and insects that are more commonly found this time of year. Contact the Extension office for help with diagnosis and control recommendations. INSECTS
Many insects are starting to appear in and around the house. Virginia Tech has factsheets on many common insects. VT Fact Sheets Insect ID
or call our Horticultural Help Line for information on what's "bugging" you and the best and safest way to cure the problem.DISEASES
Lesions are usually quite large and follow the veins of the leaf. Trees may drop some affected foliage. These diseases normally occur on large trees and do no permanent damage – practice good sanitation by cleaning up fallen leaves. You may choose to apply a preventive fungicide treatments next spring. A certified pesticide applicator and certified arborist can make these treatments fore you.Plants susceptible
: ash, maple, sycamore and oak trees. Fireblight:
Caused by a bacteria. The most typical symptom is branch die back from the tip down typically resembling a shepherd’s crook. Affected branches usually start dying in mid-May or June. Prune out dead branches about a foot below the dead tissue. Sterilize pruning shears between cuts. Plants susceptible: cotoneaster, pyracantha, apples, pears and Bradford pears. Juniper Tip Blight:
Characterized by dead branch tips in juniper plantings. Two different fungi cause this blight. Small outbreaks can be pruned out. Fungicides are also an option. The timing of the treatments depends on the causal fungus. Blight caused by Phomopsis is treated in the spring. Blight caused by Kabatina is treated in the fall. Oak Leaf Blister:
The light green to yellow spots will turn dark brown or black later in the season. This disease is primarily cosmetic and requires no action.Rose rosette disease (RRD):
A disease believed to be caused by the recently identified Rose rosette virus, has been spreading through much of the wild rose population of the Midwestern, Southern, and Eastern United States for years. It has been confirmed in cultivated roses in Virginia and other states.