Tahlequah Daily Press


December 18, 2013

Lawns, gardens need attention in winter

TAHLEQUAH — Curb appeal for a home includes a trim lawn and landscaping to enhance the overall appearance. But there is much more to lawn care than just mowing, even in the winter.

Leaves get bagged, roses pruned, and elephant ears and bulbs may need to be dug up and stored in a garage or greenhouse until spring. Plants may appear dormant above the ground, but roots grow and spread out at a slow pace, even in winter.

It’s a good idea to rake leaves and clean out the gutters before winter, so they won’t clog up the gutter drain, said Jack Garrett, who has provided lawn care for 20 years.

“The best thing is to cut and trim brush, shrubs and tall grass the first week of October, to give plants time to seal and heal the cut before the first cold front,” Garrett said. “If it is last minute or the day before a cold front or snow, leave the plant alone until sprig, around March, to make sure there are no more cold fronts.”

In March, make sure it’s at least 55 degrees before cutting plants, Garrett said.

Mulch is important to protect flowerbeds, he added.

“Mulching leaves, pine needles or cedar in small amounts – not big chunks – will protect the roots from cold weather,” Garrett said. “Add the mulch in October.”

Fall and winter lawn care includes pruning crepe myrtles, ornamental grasses, and spirea, mulching flower beds and picking up leaves, said Trey Scarsdale, owner of Pro Lawn and Landscape.

“We recommend a good coat of mulch in all flowerbeds,” Scarsdale said. “Day lilies and hostas all need to be pruned back to the ground.”

Leaf removal can be used for mulch, but don’t leave too much leaves or it will choke out the grass, he said. He recommends picking up most of the leaves.

“Thatch build up will happen if you mulch and dry leaves and leave too many. Clippings develop thatch sitting on top of soil, because it doesn’t breathe,” he said. “And it can causes diseases, dollar spot and broom patch.”

Piles of leaves will stay wet and cause winter kill, leaving bare spots.

“We blow off all hard surfaces, starting on the roof top and valleys when removing leaves,” he said. “We clear the gutters and down the spouts, then the driveways and sidewalks.”

They suck up the leaves  with lawn mowers, to use as mulch and compost, about three years later.

And when they trim branches, they cut at an angle, said Jimmy Washington, with Pro Lawn.

“An angle cut keeps the moisture from getting in and freezing or splitting the branch,” said Washington. “Trimming the top off this crepe myrtle will make it bushier in the spring.”

When cutting a spirea, Washington takes at least half of it off. He trims holly bushes when they need it.

“When it has lot of new growth, it looks like it needs a hair cut,” Washington said.

January and February is the time to spray pre-emergent herbicide on the turf to control weeds, Scarsdale said.

“Now is the time to fertilize fescue lawns,” he said.

When it comes to herbicides, follow the directions on the label.

“The label will include MSDS information, do what it says,” Scarsdale advises. “And follow the 24-hour REI, re-entry interval, so all animals and humans should stay off for 24 hours.”

Text Only
  • sp-symposium-art-panel.jpg Panelists discuss impact of Southeastern art

    Until recently, most people had a certain expectation of American Indian art – and it didn’t include images familiar to people in and around Cherokee County.
    “A lot of times, when people think about Native art, they immediately think of Plains art or Southwestern art,” said Roy Boney (Cherokee), Tahlequah artist and moderator of the panel discussion “Southeastern Indian Art: Building Community and Raising Awareness,” held Friday, April 11, at the NSU Symposium on the American Indian.
    Boney and the other panelists are frustrated by the divide between mainstream expectations of Native American art and their need for genuine self-expression.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Teacher.jpg Dickerson believes in putting the student first

    As a child growing up in Elk City, Cherokee Elementary teacher Debra Dickerson lined up the neighborhood children and animals to play school.
    “I’ve been a teacher ever since I could talk. My mother always said she knew where I was because she could hear me bossing everyone,” she said.
    The classroom then was a blanket tossed over limbs of her big cherry tree on Eisenhower Street. Recess was spent tree-climbing, running, riding in the bus (her red wagon) and being creative.
    “Those were the days before video games and TV,” she said.
    Dickerson, 2013-’14 Cherokee Elementary Teacher of the Year, believes a classroom should be a safe haven for children, because school is often the best part of their day.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • kh-trash-pickup.jpg Cleaning things up

    Lowrey was part of the Cherokee Nation’s Career Service Center contingency of 11 volunteers. Other volunteers cleaned up trash along the roadway from the Cherokee Casino to the NSU campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-NinthAmendment.jpg Right to privacy leans partly on Article 9

    While the other articles of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights are straightforward – at least, enough for Americans to bicker over in court – the Ninth Amendment might cause a bit of confusion.
    It reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    There are no rights enumerated, and it might be difficult to argue one’s Ninth Amendment rights in court, though it has been done successfully.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • stickball-2.jpg Stickball

    The American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Native American Student Associationat Northeastern State University hosted a traditional stickball game as part of closing cultural activities during the 42nd annual Symposium on the American Indian Friday. Participants included, from left: Nathan Wolf, Disosdi Elk and Chris Smith.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • green-bldng.jpg City council to discuss ‘green building’

    Tahlequah City Council will hold a special meeting Friday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss, among other items, applying grant money to renovate the city’s “green building” at the corner of Water and Morgan, near Norris Park.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • alcohol-info.jpg Alcohol screening can be critical

    It has been decades since Prohibition brought Americans gangsters, flappers and speakeasies, but statistics for alcohol addiction are staggering.
    Millions of Americans suffer from alcohol addiction and abuse, which affects families and friends.
    Today, April 10, is the annual National Alcohol Screening Day, and raising awareness through education, outreach and screening programs is the goal, according to the website at www.mentalhealthscreening.org.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • jn-CCSO-2.jpg Law enforcement agencies to get new facility

    Area law enforcement agencies will soon have a new training facility in Cherokee County.
    The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office is building the new training room near its gun range, located north of the detention center. Sheriff Norman Fisher said tax dollars were not used for the building.
    “This is something we’ve been trying to work on, and it was built with no money from the taxpayers,” said Fisher. “It was paid for with drug forfeitures and gun sales.”

    April 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • Holiday Inn.tif Promise Hotels to build Holiday Inn Express prototype

    Tulsa-based company Promise Hotels broke ground recently on the nation’s first new Holiday Inn Express & Suites prototype. The new 46,000 square foot, 80-room hotel will be in Tahlequah near the intersection of South Muskogee Avenue and the highway loop.
    Construction will begin immediately with an anticipated completion date of February 2015. The $7.22 million hotel will feature a new contemporary look with an indoor pool, sauna, fitness center, and larger meeting room.

    April 9, 2014 3 Photos

  • rf-Volunteer-Harris.jpg Music still in the blood of retired music teacher

    Volunteer opportunities Harris supports include Court Appointed Special Advocates of Cherokee Country, Feed My Sheep, and directing the Go Ye Village Women’s Choir. She’s also served for many years as musical director of Tahlequah Community Playhouse.

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge US Supports Ukraine's Efforts to Calm Tensions Suspect in Kansas Shootings Faces Murder Charges Ukraine: Military Recaptures Eastern Airport Raw: Storm Topples RVs Near Miss. Gulf Coast NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse Pistorius Cries During Final Cross-Examination The Boston Marathon Bombing: One Year Later Michael Phelps Set to Come Out of Retirement First Women Move to Army Platoon Artillery Jobs Sex Offenders Charged in Serial Killings Police: Woman Stored Dead Babies in Garage OC Serial Murder Suspects May Have More Victims Family: 2 Shot in Head at Kan. Jewish Center Raw: Horse Jumping Inspires 'Bunny Hop' After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida Popular Science Honors Year's Top Inventions ND Oil Boom Attracting Drug Traffickers