Gardening This Weekend: December 17, 2020

Here are your mid-December gardening goals. See how many you need to accomplish.

All spring-flowering bulbs immediately.
Cold-hardy annuals. Pansies, violas and pinks rate at the top, as do ornamental cabbage and kale. Snapdragons come next, then for the southern half of the state, stocks, cyclamen, wallflowers, sweet alyssum and Iceland poppies.

Continued Below

Remove all frozen stems and foliage from perennials and annuals.
Mistletoe from tree branches as it becomes obvious. Leaving it in place will let it grow much larger very quickly.
Shrubs to do light shaping. It’s probably still best to save major reshaping for another three or four weeks. (Never top crape myrtles. See why here.)
Mow lawn to remove fallen leaves and as needed to trim winter weeds and keep them in check.

Apply water-soluble, high-phosphate, root-stimulator plant food to help newly transplanted trees and shrubs get established.
Houseplants once per month with diluted liquid plant food.

Take the time to buy and pre-cut frost cloth to protect tender plants from winter cold. You can leave it in place for weeks if you think there is chance of additional cold.
Houseplants for scale insects and mealy bugs. It’s usually easiest to eliminate them with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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