Gardening This Weekend: December 21, 2017
Short, sweet and to the point, here are this week’s activities.
• If you have a living Christmas tree, get it outside before too many days pass. It will acclimate to indoor conditions rapidly and be hurt badly if re-introduced to cold, windy conditions after too many days indoors. However, forecasts for much of the state are calling for very cold temperatures over Christmas, so you will want to wait a couple of days.
• Tulips and Dutch hyacinths as soon as possible. If you wait much longer you will run out of time for them to establish roots, grow normally and bloom well.
• Don’t waste your precious holiday time topping crape myrtles. It’s the wrong thing to do anyway. More on that later.
• Mistletoe out of trees for use in last-minute decorating. The berries don’t hold on the twigs very long, plus they’re a bit toxic, so be careful where you use them to decorate.
• No need to feed poinsettias or any other holiday flowers. The fertilizers growers used will sustain them through the next several weeks.
ON THE LOOKOUT
• If you’re transporting a poinsettia home from church on Christmas Eve, and if temperatures are below freezing, have the car warmed up ahead of time. You have only seconds to get it inside. It’s best to lay a lightweight sheet of fabric over it while you hustle it into protection.
• Don’t let poinsettia, azaleas and other holiday flowers dry to the point of wilting. That greatly shortens bloom life and results in severe leaf drop.
• Have frost cloth pre-cut and ready to put in place over tender plants when cold blows in early next week. It’s looking like it’s going to be really cold again.