Winter Gardening Tips
It seems that gardening is a year round activity. There is always
something to do. If you cant think of any gardening tasks,
here are a few tips to get you thinking.
Watering: Just because the weather is cold, doesnt
mean the ground has frozen. The ground takes longer to cool off
than the air does. As long as the ground is not frozen and can accept
water, you should water at least your evergreens. Most of the other
plants are fairly dormant by now and not using much water. Evergreens,
on the other hand, keep their needles all winter and can lose water
through those needles. Keeping water supplied to the roots on a
weekly basis as long as possible into the fall and winter season
will help reduce stress on those evergreens.
Snow and ice on trees and shrubs: As we get into winter,
the threat of damage from snow and ice is always near. When snow
piles up on evergreens, try to gently brush it off. Dont shake
the branches as this may cause them to break. If the snow is frozen
on the branch and will not brush off easily, it is best to let it
melt naturally, to avoid damage to the tree or shrub.
If tree limbs break due to the weight of ice or snow, it is advisable
to have the broken limbs removed as soon as the weather permits.
Hanging branches can be a danger to passing pedestrians. Also, the
tree will be able to heal the wound better in spring if the wound
has clean edges instead of ragged tears.
Warm spells in winter: Sometimes in the middle of winter,
we suddenly get a few warm days. For the most part, this is not
a big problem, but you may need to check on a couple of things.
If you covered your roses with rose cones, you may need to ventilate
the cone to prevent heat from building up inside. The same should
be done with coldframes. If it is a warm, sunny day, the temperatures
may be rising in the cold frame more than you expect. Remember to
close vents as the temperature drops again at night.
Holiday plants: Turning to the indoor environment, we need
to keep our holiday plants fresh and blooming. Most of our blooming
holiday plants prefer to be in a cool room. This keeps the plant
in flower longer. Most holiday plants also need a bright room (some
do well with direct sun, others do not). Keep these plants out of
drafts to keep them in good health.
Seed orders: If you order seeds from a catalog, get your
order in by the end of January. Early orders help insure that you
get the seeds you want and that you have them in time to start them
indoors if you want.
Nuisance insects: It is very common to find insects meandering
around the house in winter. All kinds of critters come into the
house looking for a place to rest for the winter. Common nuisance
pests are boxelder bugs, houseflies, squash bugs and the multicolored
Asian ladybeetles. As you encounter nuisance insects, just vacuum
them up. Avoid smashing them as some leave stains or odors when
Dont store firewood in the house. Insects can come in with
firewood. Leave the wood outside until you are ready to build a
fire. Firewood should never be treated with insecticides and insecticides
are often not needed for most home invaders.
December 2000 - January 2001: Winter
Gardening Tips | Plants and Light | Botrytis
(Gray Mold): A Disease for Many Plants | Choosng
a Christmas Tree Variety | Key Questions
for Garden Catalogs