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

Tasks:

• Control cool-season weeds before they mature and go to seed.

• 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.

Pruning:

• 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. This is not necessary with shrub or ground cover roses.

Fertilizing:

• Apply nitrogen fertilizer to citrus trees prior to bloom.

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

Planting:

• 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 (Primula polyantha), English primrose (Primula vulgaris), pansy (Viola), sweet violet (Viola odorata).

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

• Trees, shrubs, vines: Anthony Waterer spirea (Spiraea japonica), bridal wreath spirea (Spiraea prunifolia).

• Fruits and vegetables: lemons, navel orange, parsley.

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.

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