Gardening This Weekend: December 20, 2018

No frills. Nothing fancy. Here are the things you’ll need to do in the next several days.

Tulips and Dutch hyacinths as soon as possible. Wait even another week or two and they may not bloom at their normal time in spring.
Living Christmas trees as soon as possible after Christmas. The longer they’re indoors the less likely they are to establish and grow well outside. At least get it out onto the patio and water it deeply. But don’t leave it sitting out there more than a couple of days before you plant it.

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 us them to decorate. Use a long-handled pole pruner to remove young clumps of mistletoe from small twigs. You won’t be able to remove larger branches that are fully infested with larger clumps, so just keep them nipped back with the clipper heads on your pole pruner.

No need to feed poinsettias or any other holiday flowers. The fertilizers growers used will sustain them through the next several weeks.
Feed pansies and other winter annuals with high-nitrogen, water-soluble plant food every couple of weeks to keep them growing.

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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.
Check automatic sprinkler system to be sure the freeze sensor is functioning, also that all heads are aligned away from walks, steps and drives. Adjust controllers to run during the morning during winter since evaporation is not a concern like it is in warm months.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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