Gardening This Weekend: December 15, 2022

Everybody’s inundated with holiday obligations and projects. I’ll keep the list short. Here are your gardening goals for this weekend. (I’m also aware that it’s getting colder.)

Brighten your entry or patio with perky garden color. Plant pots of pansies, violas, cyclamen or pinks. You’ll need to protect them should temperatures drop into the 20s.
All spring-flowering bulbs as soon as you can. This includes tulips and Dutch hyacinths you’ve hopefully been chilling in the refrigerator (not the freezer) for at least 45 days.
Dig and transplant trees and shrubs that need to be moved as you have time. Don’t rush the job, though. This can wait until January. Take care to hold the root balls together in the process.

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Left-over stems, stalks and debris from annual and perennial gardens to tidy your landscape.
Mow lawn one last time to minimize weeds, also to remove final layer of fallen leaves. Put the clippings into the compost. Don’t send them to the landfill.
Mistletoe from trees while the clumps are still young and small. Whenever you can, clip the supporting twigs off entirely. If it’s growing on larger branches, keep it nipped flush with the branches.

Houseplants with diluted, water-soluble, high-nitrogen plant food monthly. Poinsettias and other greenhouse flowers will not need to be fed while they’re in full bloom. They carry ample supplies from their growers.
Cool-season annuals with water-soluble, high-nitrogen plant food each time that you water them.

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Houseplants for scale insects, mealybugs, whiteflies, spider mites and other pests that show up while they are indoors, away from natural predators.
Cold spells. Have frost cloth cut, labeled and ready to put in place over vulnerable plants. If you re-fold it carefully and store it clean and dry you can reuse it several times. It can also be left in place for weeks if necessary.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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