Walk through the garden and make notes for spring and summer changes and additions.

Enjoy the quiet of the winter garden. Feed the birds.

Tasks: 

   • Apply pre-emergent herbicide to lawns and beds later this month.

   • Deep-water trees and native plants if rainfall has been light.

Pruning: 

   • This is the time to work on dormant, deciduous plants — shrubs, vines, grapes and roses, plus fruit and nut trees.

   • Crepe myrtles and redbuds may be pruned now.

   • Cut back and divide perennials.

Fertilizing:

   • No fertilization is recommended this month.

   • When you do fertilize, always read labels carefully before application. Consult a plant

      expert at a nursery or a Master Gardener if you have questions.

Planting: 

   • This is the beginning of bare-root planting season. It is difficult to visualize the potential

      of bare-root plants, but they usually come with pictures to give you an idea.

   • Bulbs, corms, tubers: canna and crocosmia.

   • Fruits and vegetables: asparagus, cabbage and bare-root berries.

   •  Trees, shrubs, vines: azalea and camellia.

Enjoy now:

   • Annuals and perennials: snapdragon (Antirrhinum), calendula and Chrysanthemum

      Paludosum, Holiday cactus (Schlumbergera).

   • Bulbs, corms, tubers: crocus and cyclamen.

   • Fruits and vegetables: beets, bok choy, chives and mandarin oranges.

Things to ponder: 

   • This is a good time to look through seed catalogs. 

   • Wood ashes are not beneficial in the garden as they increase soil alkalinity.

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 mgfresno@ucdavis.edu. Prepared by Judy Parker, Master Gardener UCCE Fresno County.

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