A wide variety of citrus fruit brightens winter gardens and winter menus this month.
• 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.
• 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.
• Apply nitrogen fertilizer to citrus trees prior to bloom.
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• Always read labels carefully before applying fertilizer. Use only if necessary.
• 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.
• 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.