A wide variety of citrus fruit brightens winter gardens and winter menus this month.


Plants installed last spring and fall may need water if rainfall has been inadequate.

Run sprinklers periodically through cycle to maintain clean lines and to exercise the valves.


When harvesting blooms for arrangements, make cuts with an eye toward shaping the plant.

Shape hedges.

Cut away 50% of last year’s growth on peaches and nectarines.

Remove leaves from roses in January to force the plant into dormancy.


Apply nitrogen fertilizer to citrus trees prior to bloom.

Always read labels carefully before applying fertilizer. Use only if necessary.


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Bare root planting season continues.

Peas, both edible and decorative varieties can be planted this month. Before planting soak dried peas between damp paper towels in a shallow dish. Cover loosely with plastic and keep towels moist. Plant seed when they just begin to sprout.

Enjoy now:

Annuals and perennials:

Primrose (Primulapolyantha), English primrose (Primula vulgaris), pansy (Viola), sweet violet (Viola odorata).

Bulbs, corms, tubers: squill (Scillatubergeniana), ‘Paper White’ narcissus(Tazetta daffodils).

Trees, shrubs, vines: Anthony Watererspiraea, bridal wreath spirea (Spiraea prunifolia).

Fruits and vegetables: navel orange, parsley, lemons.

Things to ponder:

Frost is possible when it is clear enough to see the stars. Remember to leave frost-damaged foliage until danger of frost has passed. Prune later if needed.

Remove fallen camellia blooms promptly to prevent petal blight on next year’s flowers.

Source: Adapted from “A Gardener’s Companion for the Central San Joaquin Valley,” 3rd edition, currently available from Fresno County Master Gardeners for $30. Gardening Questions answered at (559) 241-7534. Judy Parker, Fresno County Master Gardener.

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