December Garden Tips

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  • Turn off irrigation system for the Winter
  • Winter is when bare-root fruit trees and berries are available at nurseries
  • Winter is an excellent time to assess the “bare bones” of your yard, when many trees and plants are resting and few flowers are blooming. The right groundcover or vine can soften the stark contrasts between trees, shrubs and hardscape features like fences and sidewalks
  • Remember to water all the plants (especially any that are frost-tender) you have stored under the eaves and patio cover
  • Organize the tools necessary to prune roses and keep them sharp and clean. Physan sterilizes tools without rusting them
  • Maintain a 2 in. layer of mulch around plants, but keep 4-6 inches away from plant stems or trunks.
  • Remove and dispose of fallen fruit and or fruit still hanging on trees – this will help control overwintering disease and pests
  • Remove fallen leaves from lawn areas to avoid rotting the grass underneath
  • It is best to pick up fallen rose leaves under rose plants as they often house fungus spores that can re-enter plants in Spring
  • Begin planning next year’s landscape to be ready to implement in Spring. Designing a landscape can take several to many weeks depending upon its complexity
  • Inspect susceptible plants (especially winter vegetables) for aphid activity and other insect pests. Treat if population is large enough. Use high pressure spray of water for small populations
  • Plant winter annuals
  • Complete late season cleaning of hardy perennials
  • Put away mower for the year. Drain fuel or add a stabilizer. Clean and dry unit to prevent rust. Sharpen blade so that it is ready to go in Spring.
  • Consider beginning winter pruning chores only after all leaves have fallen
  • Consider stretching exercises to loosen up before beginning garden chores in cold weather