Guest Column

Kathy’s Gardening Guide: Getting Ready for Spring


As temperatures start to warm up, we are reminded that spring is almost here, and we are energized to begin tending to our gardens and landscapes! February is an ideal time to plan your spring projects and prepare for planting. Keep these tasks in mind:

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture divides the country into planting zones (also known as growing zones). This classification provides guidance for what plants and trees are most suited in the various climates across the nation. Here in Northeast Florida, we are part of the 9A zone. For the most success, select plants that are recommended for zone 9A when adding to your landscape.
  • Begin your spring preparations with a full clean-up. Clear any mounds of plant debris that may be in your garden beds, including any annuals you failed to remove last fall.
  • February is also suitable for transplanting any plants or trees you’ve been planning to relocate. Remember to check for sunlight amounts in different parts of your yard as you move plants.
  • As long as temperatures remain above freezing, plan for pruning in the coming weeks or early March. Prune plants down to where you see new green growth. This trimming will help your plants produce maximum growth in the next few months.
  • Fertilize flowers, plants and trees before higher temperatures are here to stay. Select fertilizers specifically designed for your plants, palms and/or citrus trees. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package.
  • Prepare your lawn for the coming season but wait a few more weeks before mowing. Use warm days to check your irrigation system for broken or misdirected sprinkler heads. Once temperatures will remain above 65 degrees for four to five days, it is important to apply a pre-emergent weed killer to your lawn. Note: pre-emergent is not a “weed and feed” fertilizer; it is solely a weed treatment to help control weeds in your lawn throughout the coming season. For best results, it is important to time this application just as temperatures warm up!
  • Weed landscape beds and add new mulch to refresh the appearance of beds and help the plants prepare for spring. Mulch discourages weeds, moderates the soil temperature, and creates cohesion throughout your yard.
  • Clean and update your gardening tools for spring projects. Purchase new items for planned projects and refresh any tools you already have. Now is also a good time to sharpen any tools with blades.

Happy planting!

Flower of the Week: Alyssum

Please email Kathy at for any questions or gardening tips you would like to see in the future. For more information and ideas, visit Kathy’s Creative Gardens & Nursery, 196 N. Roscoe Blvd. The phone number is 904-655-7373.