As we approach spring, we have a few tasks to accomplish while we still have cool temperatures.

Now is the time to prune the crape myrtles and reblooming roses. Pay particular attention to the roses for disease issues that might occur due to the volume of rainfall.

It is time to fertilize tree and shrubs. With the volume of rainfall over the past weeks, disease issues are on the rise. Treat immediately to gain control and minimize the spread of the disease.

Also with increased rainfall, weeds are on the rise. It is time to get the second pre-emergent applied. This application will minimize the number of weeds we see in late spring and early summer.

Do not apply fertilizer to any grass at this time. It is too early and the soil temperature is not at the optimum level.

Now is a good time to check the irrigation system, verify accuracy and coverage. Take care of all adjustments and be prepared once summer arrives.

Over the years, I have been asked “Does a core aeration really benefit my lawn?” The direct answer is “Yes.” A core aeration reduces compaction and allows for better drainage and oxygen, and reduces thatch buildup. A core aeration is critical to a healthy lawn. Now is the time to get this task scheduled.

It is best to mulch your grass clippings. This will help place organic matter into the soil.

The quality of your soil plays a very important role. Most lawns have clay, clay-loam or sand, so top-dressing with a premium product will also enrich the soil. If you plan to top-dress the lawn, aerate first for best results.

We have a lot of questions regarding what can we plant in small patio areas. One colorful idea is containers. You can plant herbs, tomatoes and different types of colorful flowers. It is always best to match the water and sunlight requirements when pairing different plants.

When using containers, choose the right size for each plant at maturity – the larger the plant, the larger the pot. Make sure you use a premium potting mix. This mixture allows for better drainage. Potting soil is not recommended.

If you plan to re-sod your grass, make sure you follow the guidelines: Right plant, right place.

• Bermuda and Centipede both require full direct sunlight year round.

• Zoysia requires approximately 5 to 6 hours of full direct sunlight year round.

• St. Augustine requires four hours of direct sunlight year round.

If you have an area that receives less than four hours of sunlight, turf will not be a good option.

If you have additional questions or need follow-up, contact your local growers or lawncare companies.

Happy gardening!

Edward Poenicke is a retired Chatham County extension agent. This article is provided in collaboration with Lawn Doctor of Beaufort County.