Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Timely Garden Tips for Winter by Master Gardener Bonnie Olliver

Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheeprus/

  • Choose seeds, bulbs and woody plants from catalogues and order early.  Some varieties sell out quickly!
  • Start slow-growing seeds such as parsley, rosemary, begonias and petunias now indoors. Broccoli, cabbage and other cole crops can be started indoors in late February and transplanted outside in early April.
  • Carefully remove heavy snow from evergreens and woody shrubs by tapping upwards from under covered branches to minimize damage.
  • Check trees and shrubs for animal damage.  Pull any mulch away from trunks where bark can be gnawed or stripped off.
  • Water recently-planted trees and shrubs if there is little or no rain or snow and if the ground is not frozen.
  • Prune apple and pear trees in late winter. “Seed” fruit trees such as peach, plum and cherry are pruned in mid-April.
  • Monitor houseplants for spider mites, aphids, white fly, fungus gnats and mealy bugs.
  • Using a purchased, soil-less potting mix, transplant rooted cuttings brought inside last fall. Keep soil evenly moist.
  • Keep poinsettias out of drafts, evenly moist and in bright, indirect light to prolong their beauty.
  • Check stored summer-blooming bulbs for rot or decay and discard those affected. Lightly mist any that are “wrinkled.”
  • Continue adding kitchen scraps to the compost pile.  Use wood ashes sparingly on the garden, lawn and compost pile.

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