December is a busy month! Although the coming holidays seem to add considerably more to our plate, there are still some useful gardening chores that can be done. Last week we mentioned some helpful December gardening and holiday tips and following in this post are a few more that we did not cover.
*Keep an eye out for signs of houseplant pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. It is great to give your plants a regular shower--many houseplant insect problems start from dusty plants. If you suspect you have a problem, separate this plant from your other plants and come see us to pick up Bonide's Systemic Houseplant Granules. These are fast acting granules that you sprinkle on top of the soil. Your waterings will integrate the plant's active ingredients into the plant's system for fast acting and thorough results.
*Start paperwhites in pebbles and water. Stagger them every few weeks for great winter color. We have 3 choices of such bulbs right here at Skillin's!
*Clear turf or weeds from the area right around the trunks of fruit trees and ornamentals before snow flies to reduce winter damage by rodents. Hardware cloth collars should be in place year-round as well.
*Be extra vigilant cleaning up under fruit trees, as fallen fruit and foliage allowed to overwinter invites added troubles next season.
*This cold weather means it is the absolute PERFECT time to mulch around your perennial beds, roses and other tender shrubs like Butterfly Bush. Use straw, fir boughs, compost, mulch or some combination to cover over these precious plants. Keep the frozen soil in place by covering ASAP. The freezing and thawing of your soil that can happen in Skillin's Country to unprotected plants is what causes cells in their root systems to be stressed and this is what causes our plants to perish!
Several of these tips were inspired by our friend Margaret at http://www.awaytogarden.com/. She is a good read and evidently a great gardener!
December 9, 2010