Dear Gardening Friends,
Happy New Year and I hope you all have a healthy 2019. Looks like our weird weather is continuing into the winter. The following are some winter tips:
With the lack of snow cover, (at least so far) it’s important to protect your plants from temperature fluctuations. An easy way to do this is to lightly cover plants that were new this year or have shallow roots. A few options are:
- Pine boughs – they make an easy and excellent winter mulch. I went around last weekend and clipped branches from discarded Christmas trees, then placed them over plants that needed protection. You can also check out your local the dump (where the village/town takes all the trees) and cut enough for the whole yard in a short time. It’s a wonderful way to get some quick and easy mulch. So take advantage of this free resource.
- Straw – can be used in the same way and purchased at a garden or farm supply store. The important thing is not to use hay which would drop seeds and turn your garden into a hayfield. Trust me, I speak from experience!
- This is a good time to prune away any branches that have been damaged from winter wind.
- Picking up downed branches and debris is always a good winter job.
Houseplants: This is the time of year when some houseplants are probably needing a little attention.
- Trim off yellowing/ browning leaves or branches.
- Give your plants a shower to wash off the dust. Either in the sink or tub. Misting the plants that you can’t move helps.
- Check for insects. If there is sticky residue on leaves or areas under a plant that is a sign of scale, aphid or white fly. Check on line at a”.edu” site for what to do.
- By mid-February you can start repotting and taking cuttings of overwintering annuals or houseplants.
- If your plant has a white crusty residue on the soil or water runs righty through the pot when you water, the plant should be repotted. Use a good lightweight potting mix.
- This is a good time to look through catalogues and plan for the upcoming season.
- Don’t just look at the pretty flowers in catalogues, be sure to match any plants you plan to use to the growing conditions you have.