Gardening This Weekend: December 8, 2016

With winter winds whipping into the state currently, we have many gotta-dos to tend to.


• Daffodils and grape hyacinths before the end of the month.
• Tulips and Dutch hyacinths that have been “pre-chilling” in the refrigerator for 45 or more days at 45 degrees can be planted into the ground as soon as it’s comfortable to do so. Soil temperatures will be sufficiently cool.
• If you’re considering planting a living Christmas tree, and if you missed my comments last week, please scan across them. They might save you some angst.


• Damaged branches from trees, especially if they might break and fall in wind or ice storms.
• Mow lawn one more time to remove last of the falling leaves. Mowing also eliminates many rank-growing weeds that can’t stand to be trimmed.
• Shrubs to remove erratic branching that gives them an unkempt look. See Question of the Week this week for more details on pruning shrubs.
• Remove all winter-killed stubble from perennials, annuals and vegetable planting. Grind it and use it in the compost.


• Pansies, pinks and other cool-season color to keep them growing vigorously during warm spells. Feed them each time that you water them. Obviously that will be less often as it turns really cold.
• Houseplants sparingly during the dark days of mid-winter. Your goal should probably be to maintain them at a status quo, not encourage them to grow vigorously.


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• Cover tender vegetation with lightweight frost cloth from a local independent retail garden center. Plastic film is not good as plants heat up too quickly the following morning.
• Houseplants for signs of population explosions of scale, mealy bugs and white flies. These pests have no natural predators when we move them indoors.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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