INDIANAPOLIS — While nobody is complaining about this winter's mild February, Pat Sullivan from Sullivan Hardware and Garden said to not let the false spring fool you into thinking you can start outdoor planting.
Garden shops are already stocking pansies, but Sullivan said Indiana is due for more cold snaps that will them off if you plant them in late February. "You can get bowls or little baskets, something that you can easily take into the garage," Sullivan said, as a temporary workaround if you want to display some spring color on your porch.
If the ground is not frozen, you can also plant shrubs at this time.
On yards, clearing debris is always a worthwhile pastime, but be careful applying treatments at this time of year, said Sullivan.
The first step to spring lawn applications is grabgrass control and fertilizer. Sullivan said the second or third week of April is best for that application because you want it to last through the growing season. "If you put it down too early," he said, "you run out of grabgrass control at the end."
If you missed the last fertilizer application last fall, you can put that down now. The same holds tree for weed control in planting beds, so a product like Preen can be applied in early March because weed will start showing up then.
Soil temperatures need to reach 50 degrees to germinate grass seed, so Sullivan recommends waiting until at least the second or third week of March to apply grass seed.
Another beneficial product to consider applying in late winter is a soil food that helps break up soil to promote root growth.
Watch Sullivan's full 13Sunrise segment in the video player.